The weather has finally turned warm and sunny, meaning that local beaches are filling up. However, there are some hidden dangers at the beach you should know about as we head into summer. Rip Currents are one of them.
Just this past weekend several children were swept away from a sandbar and locked in a rip current at Rexhame Beach in Marshfield. Alert parents onshore had to spring into action to rescue them.
Further north at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, rip currents swept a brother and sister out to sea. The brother made it back to shore, but the 12 year old girl from Lawrence is still missing. The Coast Guard is still searching for her in the 55 degree water.
Rip Currents are narrow, fast moving belts of water traveling offshore. They form when waves break strongly along some parts of the beach, and weakly in others. The currents of water typically travel at 1-2 feet/second, but sometimes can travel as quickly as 8 feet/second.
At speeds that fast, even an Olympic swimmer could not swim against one. Instead of fighting the rip current by swimming back to shore, swim horizontally to the beach. This will allow to you ‘Break the Grip of the Rip’ and swim back to shore. Rip Currents only pull you away from the water, they don’t pull you under. So, remain calm, don’t fight it, and you’ll be fine.