Beach season brings threat of rip current
Posted June 6, 2005
(Myrtle Beach) - The beginning of beach season brings
worry of rip currents.
This week is the first national Rip Current Awareness
Week and the National Weather Service and other groups
want to spread the word about the dangers of rip currents.
Rip currents annually claim more than 100 lives in the
United States and have caused 27 deaths in the Carolinas
during the past four years.
With millions of tourists expected to visit beaches in
the Carolinas this summer, safety experts plan to put
magnets in hotels and rental homes with instructions on
how to escape the currents.
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water
flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the
shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of
breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with
breaking waves, including the Great Lakes. Rip currents
account for over 80% of rescues performed by surf beach
With increasing coastal populations, rip currents will
continue to be a serious hazard at surf beaches.
Tips if you get caught in a rip current (NOAA):
Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
Never fight against the current.
Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off,
which you need to step to the side of.
Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline.
When out of the current, swim at an angle--away from the
If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float
or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards
If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention
to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.