A rip current is one of the ocean's deadly threats and cause of numerous deaths each year. So how do you spot and survive a riptide if you get caught by one?
Rip Current | How To Spot A Rip Current In Seconds Flat
Most people are more worried about sharks in the water, there is something more sinister you need to worry about lurking in the shallows. Rips are like rivers in the sea that sweep you off your feet and funnel you out beyond the breaking waves and into deep water. They can be incredibly dangerous but with a little knowledge and awareness, you can stay safe in the surf.
How to Spot a Rip Current
A lot of people think they know how to spot a rip, but the fact is 70% of beach goers can't and that's a possibly fatal mistake you can't afford to make on what should be a fun day at the beach.
1. How a Rip Current Forms
As waves push water to the shoreline a second and equally powerful “rip” occurs that funnels water down and back out towards the deeper ocean, these incredibly powerful “backdrafts” can sweep you off your feet and suck you out to sea in seconds… they are terrifying to be caught in and should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, they can be a bit difficult to see at ground level
2. Rip Current Flow
A rip current can flow in different directions. It sometimes flows directly out to the sea, and sometimes they can also flow at an angle. The current could also circulate back to the shore.
3. Things to Look for to Spot a Rip
To spot a rip, look for a deep and dark-colored water, few breaking waves, and a rippled surface surrounded by smooth water. Anything floating out to sea or foamy discolored flowing out beyond the waves can also be a rip current.
What to Do When Caught by a Rip Current
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, the most important thing you can do is to stay calm. The main causes of drowning are panic and exhaustion. If the beach is patrolled, raise your arm and call out to attract attention. If you think no one sees you, float with the rip or try swimming in the direction of the waves. Just remember, never swim against the rip current… no matter how strong of a swimmer you think you are, you'll never beat the ocean!
Here's the full video about spotting rip currents by Surf Life Saving Australia:
Everybody loves the beach, but we have to look after our safety at all times. Rip currents can be very dangerous if you don't know what to do, so always be wary of warning signs. Try not to totally isolate yourself from the crowd or not go too far where the lifeguard can't see you. We all go to the beach to enjoy and have fun, so let's keep it that way by staying safe!
What do you think of this article about spotting and surviving rip currents? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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