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HoW to save yourself if you're caught in potentially deadly rip current

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Nice article, I think the important thing is remember not to panic. Try to swim parallel to the shore until you're out of the current's grip, then swim back to land at an angle.
 

moonstone

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77,000 RCI points (Sunrise Ridge Resort, TN)
We are seeing more and more warnings and instructions about rip currents when we are in St. Augustine Beach. Rip currents are so scary! There have been a few deaths from folks getting caught in them while we've been there over the years. We can often see them from the shore and definitely from the balcony at our timeshare.

In the fall of '22 I was sitting on our 4th floor balcony at The Beach Club in St Augustine Beach and could see several rip currents along the shore. The yellow flags were up (rip current warning) at the entrance to the beach. I saw a family walk down to the beach with all their beach paraphernalia. There were 3 kids, all probably 8 to maybe 12 or 14 years old. The kids immediately ran into the ocean right beside a rip current while the parents were setting up the blanket, umbrella and stuff. I knew they wouldn't hear me if I yelled, so I ran down all 4 flights of stairs (the elevator is slow there) then across the laneway to the beach. By the time I got down to them the kids were thankfully all out of the water and sitting in the sand. I told the dad about the rip currents and showed him how to spot them -he had no idea! They were from the northern interior of the USA, this was their first time on the Atlantic side of Florida and they didn't really know much about rip currents. They also didn't know what the different colours of flags meant. Both parents thanked me and again a couple of days later when DH and I saw them as we were walking on the beach. They had bought life jackets for all the kids to wear when they were more than ankle deep in the ocean which I thought was a great idea.


~Diane
 

pedro47

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Please learn the rip current flags colors and their meanings.
One Red Flag means Rip Current. Please be careful
Two Red Rip Current Flags flying means please stay out of the water.

A Green Flag means the water is safe to swim; but still stay alert.
 
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WaikikiFirst

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We can often see them from the shore and definitely from the balcony at our timeshare
sounds like a job for drones patrolling over the water to spot them and sound an alarm. OK, fancy AI drones.
I have long thought making drones to spot sharks shouldn't be so hard. Drones with laser-beams to scare off sharks, eh Dr Evil?
 

davidvel

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Once important thing is often omitted from these warnings. They always tell you to "swim parallel to shore" to escape the rip, which is correct. The question is which way, right or left? Often it may not matter, but there can be very strong long shore (parallel) currents that are even faster than the rip.

Think about the times you have been in the water, and realize you have moved hundreds of yards to the left or right from where you entered. On these days you should take a mental note and when swimming out of the rip you go with the longshore current. Doing the opposite can wear you out faster than the rip.

The most important thing to do though is always swim in sight of a lifeguard. Second is to wear swim fins (not the snorkel/dive ones.)
 

moonstone

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Please learn the rip current flags colors and their meanings.
One Red Flag means Rip Current. Please be careful
Two Red Rip Current Flags flying means please stay out of the water.

A Green Flag means the water is safe to swim; but still stay alert.
These are the flag colours and their meanings on the Atlantic side of Florida -maybe state wide?
It is possible to see 2 or more flags displayed, like red & purple, at the same time.

1720665234788.png


~Diane
 
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