Weather School - Rip Currents, What They Are & What Should You Do If You Are Caught in One

Rip currents can turn a fun day at the beach into a dangerous, even deadly experience. Some people call them rip tides, but they are not tidal. A channel forms on the ocean floor creating a narrow, fast moving path for the water as it goes back out to sea. The water is stronger and faster than you are, and trying to fight a rip current can leave you exhausted and in danger of drowning.

Instead of going against the current, focus on staying afloat (you won't get puled under) and swim parallel to the shore until you feel like you are out of the current. Once you're free, swim or float back to the shore.

Lifeguards and forecasters often warn beach-goers when rip currents are active, and the best way you can protect yourself is to stay out of the water when you hear those warnings.
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