Churning Tropics Create Dangerous Rip Currents | Environment

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Churning Tropics Create Dangerous Rip Currents
Churning Tropics Create Dangerous Rip Currents

With Hurricane Season well under way, and the recent activity in the Tropics, State Officials in Florida warn Residents and Visitors of the dangers of swimming in the Atlantic Ocean with strong Rip Currents.

Rip Currents can be 200 to 2,500 feet long but are normally no wider than 30 feet, and can not easily be seen. The current can move more than 5 miles per hour and knock someone off their feet in less than a foot of water.

Rip Currents account for about 80% of beach rescues, and many times people trying to help become victims themselves.

As the tropics churn in the waters of the Atlantic, surf is expected to pick up, and create powerful, dangerous Rip Currents along the coast through Friday.

It is good to be aware of the dangers of Rip Currents and avoid becoming caught in one. If you do decide to go swimming always swim near lifeguards, and be extra careful while swimming. Always obey the orders of the lifeguards.  Know how to swim in the surf, it is not the same as swimming in a pool or lake. Stay away from piers and jetties as Rip Currents can be constant in these areas. Never swim alone, stay near other people and lifeguards. Pay extra close to children and seniors as you can easily loose your footing in shallow water.

Be aware of the Flag flying on the Beach and Lifeguard Stands. Know what the flags stand for and recognize that they are there to warn of a REAL DANGER.


Beach Flags:

Green: Low hazard, calm conditions, exercise caution.

Yellow: Medium hazard, moderate surf and/or currents.

Red: High hazard, high surf and/or strong currents.

Red over Red [two red flags]: Water closed to the public.

Purple: Dangerous marine life.


If you get caught in a Rip Current the best thing to do is stay calm and conserve your energy. Do not try to swim against the rip current towards shore. Instead swim parallel with the shore as to get out of the current, once out of the current swim towards shore. If the current is too strong try to create attention by waving your arms and shouting for help.

If you see someone caught in a Rip Current the best thing to do is either notify a Lifeguard, or if one is not present, call 911 for help. Rip Currents can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Many people get caught in rip currents trying to assist others. The best thing to do is contact the authorities so they can properly assist the victim and in the meantime  try to get something buoyant out to the victim to help them stay afloat as help is on the way.



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