Rip Current Awareness
June 3-9, 2012 is Rip Current Awareness Week, when NOAA’s National Weather Service reminds you to “Break the Grip of the Rip!” Rip currents are channels of fast-moving water that may pull swimmers away from the shore. While the speed of rip currents varies, some have exceeded five miles per hour, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer can swim! When people swimming at beaches are caught in a rip current and pulled offshore into water over their heads, drowning can occur due to a combination of panic, exhaustion and lack of swimming skills.
Viewer Tip: Rip currents occur at ocean and Great Lakes beaches. They are typically found at low spots and breaks in sand bars, or near jetties and piers. Before you head to the beach, check the latest forecast for beach conditions at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/forecasts.shtml. Always swim at a beach with lifeguards on duty and heed their advice. Nearly all rip current drownings occur at unguarded beaches.
Learn more about rip currents at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.
(Sources: NOAA National Weather Service and U.S. Lifesaving Association. “Rip Currents: What they are, the dangers, how to escape.” www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/resources/Final%20Talking%20Points%20and%20Fact%20Sheet_041707.pdf)