Rip currents can create dangers for Miami Valley travelers to ocean vacation spots

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 @ 12:19 PM

The dangers of rip currents

Many folks enjoy their summer by flocking to the beaches and enjoying a dip in the ocean. Many swimmers, however, don't know about the dangers of rip currents.

Rip currents are fast moving currents of water that kill more than 100 people every year. Many folks get trapped in these and don't know how to get out.

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It is a choppy or churning current of water that has a noticeably different color than the rest of the water. This current of water is moving away from shore and out to sea. It usually traps things like seaweed and debris and has some foam in it. It is also defined by a break in the pattern of incoming waves.

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Once swimmers are caught up in these currents, they have the tendency to try and swim out of them by fighting the current and swimming closer to shore but to no avail because these currents are strong, moving up to one to two feet per second, even sometimes up to eight feet per second, thus trying to break out of it is futile and many will become fatigued and panic.

Instead of fighting against it, here are three things you want to remember:
  • Don't fight the current by swimming toward the shore
  • Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current (then swim diagonally away from the current back to shore)
  • Relax, float on your back, ride it out until it takes you and dumps you out of the current (then swim diagonally away from it and back to shore)