Officials Say to Know Dangers of Rip Currents Before You Head to the Beach

(KR)  The quick pull of the ocean’s current can trap anyone before they even know what is happening. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rip currents can move at speeds of up to 8 feet per second, faster than an Olympic swimmer.

Dr. Greg Dusek with NOAA, says it’s important to know before you enter the water, what a rip current is.

“A rip current is a narrow, fast-moving channel of water that starts near the beach and extends offshore through the line of breaking waves,” said Dr. Dusek.

He said rip current most often happen at low tide and aren’t really caused by weather.

“People often misunderstand and think that rip currents only occur during bad-weather days at the beach but actually, you can have strong rip currents with sunny days and waves of only about two to three feet high.”

Dr. Dusek said if you are caught in a strong current pull to stay calm, wave for help, and start swimming parallel to the shoreline until you are free.

Three people were rescued Sunday afternoon in Ocean City when they were swept out by strong currents. The U.S. Coast Guard said there were no injuries after two lifeguards and a swimmer were rescued.