With summer starting to heat up many of us Southeastern Pennsylvanians will be enjoying the beaches in New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland this season. Before leaving for the beach, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and The Weimer Group encourages you to check the latest National Weather forecast for your local beach conditions.
What exactly is a rip current?
Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches. These currents form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between the breaking waves and the beach.
How can I spot a rip current?
Look for differences in the water color, water motion, incoming wave shape or the breaking point. A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward may be present.
How can you avoid rip current problems?
- Learn to swim.
- If you’ll be in surf, learn to swim in surf. It’s not the same as a pool or lake.
- Never swim alone.
- Swim near a lifeguard.
- Look for posted signs and warning flags, which may indicate higher than usual hazards.
- Check with lifeguards before swimming.
- Obey all instructions provided by lifeguards.
- Be cautious. Always assume rips are present even if you don’t see them.
- If in doubt, don’t go out.
What can I do if I get caught in a rip?
Try to remain calm and conserve your energy. Whatever you do, don’t fight the current. Swim across the current in a direction following the shoreline. Rip current strength eventually subsides offshore. When it does, try swimming towards the shore. If you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself: yell, wave your arms.
How can you help a person caught in a rip current?
Get help from a lifeguard or have someone call 9-1-1. Throwing the victim something that floats like a lifejacket, a cooler, a ball may help. Don’t become a victim while trying to help someone else!
For more information on rip currents, checkout NWS Rip Current. This information brought to you by your friends at The Weimer Group.