Tip of the week
What to know about rip currents
Recognize the signs. Rip currents are a common danger at beaches: Each year, 100 Americans drown in the fast-moving channels of water that can pull swimmers and waders away from the shore. Though hard to detect, rips aren’t invisible: Look for gaps in the lip of the waves or for trails of muddy or foamy water flowing outward. A rip current is created by excess water that gets trapped on shore and is seeking a way out.
Check for flags. Lifeguards use flags to indicate water conditions. A yellow flag means rip currents are present, and a red flag means they’re strong. If you see double red flags, stay out of the water. Rip-current advisories are posted by weather.gov.
Don’t fight the power. Swimming directly against the force of a rip current is a losing battle, even for a strong swimmer. Instead, swim parallel to the shoreline to escape the current, then head toward shore.