Rip currents
Credit: Clayton Hamner

Rip currents

Rip currents are the ocean’s way of reclaiming the water that gets pushed up against a beach by crashing waves. The water moves sideways along the beach until it finds an escape route—a current of like-minded water travelling back out to sea. The water in a rip will look enticingly calm compared to the surrounding surf, but it will be travelling seaward at up to 10 feet per second.
Don't exhaust yourself
Credit: Clayton Hamner

Don't exhaust yourself

If you find yourself ripping out to sea, stop trying to swim back to shore or you’ll exhaust yourself. Instead, swim parallel to shore to escape the current. Or lay on your back and rest—the current should weaken within about 300 feet.
Swim away from the rip
Credit: Clayton Hamner

Swim away from the rip

When the current releases you, swim back to shore, on a diagonal away from the rip.
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