Last Update: Sep 23, 2022.

Submitted by: Dacey Arlie
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What are the 5 common signs of a rip current?

A rip is identified by:
Calm stretches of water between waves.Fewer breaking waves.A smoother surface with much smaller waves, with waves breaking either side.Discoloured or murky brown water caused by sand stirred up off the bottom.Debris floating out to sea.A rippled look, when the water around is generally calm.

Each category is characterized by different rip current types that are now described in detail.
3.1. Hydrodynamically-controlled rip currents. 3.2. Bathymetrically-controlled rip currents. 3.3. Boundary controlled rip currents. 3.4. Other rip current types. 3.5. Rip types summary.

The best way to survive a rip current is to stay afloat and yell for help. You can also swim parallel to the shore to escape the rip current. Rip currents stay close to shore and usually break up just beyond the line of breaking waves. Occasionally, however, a rip current can push someone hundreds of yards offshore.

Instead, try to work out which direction the rip current is taking you and swim slowly, but steadily, across the rip to one side and aim for areas of whitewater. Rip currents are generally no wider than about 15 m (16.4 yards), so you only need to swim a short distance to try and get out of the current.

Staying Safe On A Surf Beach: What Are Rip Currents?

Instead, try to work out which direction the rip current is taking you and swim slowly, but steadily, across the rip to one side and aim for areas of whitewater. Rip currents are generally no wider than about 15 m (16.4 yards), so you only need to swim a short distance to try and get out of the current.

Staying Safe On A Surf Beach: What Are Rip Currents?

How to Avoid and Survive Rip Currents
  1. Keep calm.
  2. To get out of the rip current, swim sideways, parallel to the beach.
  3. When out of the rip current, swim at an angle away from the rip current and toward shore.
  4. If you can't escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water.

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Swim parallel to the shore. Instead of swimming against the rip current, you want to swim perpendicular to it, in either direction. Rip currents are typically only 20-100 feet wide. Once you leave the rip, swim at an angle away from it towards the shore.

UNCW Environmental Health Amp;safety: Rip Currents

A rip current is a horizontal current. Rip currents do not pull people under the water--they pull people away from shore. Drowning deaths occur when people pulled offshore are unable to keep themselves afloat and swim to shore. This may be due to any combination of fear, panic, exhaustion, or lack of swimming skills.

UNCW Environmental Health  Amp;safety: Rip Currents

Instead, try to work out which direction the rip current is taking you and swim slowly, but steadily, across the rip to one side and aim for areas of whitewater. Rip currents are generally no wider than about 15 m (16.4 yards), so you only need to swim a short distance to try and get out of the current.Mar 6, 2019

Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current. Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current's pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.

Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current. Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current's pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.

Riptides Ocean? Rip Current

A rip current forms because wind and breaking waves push surface water towards the land, and this causes a slight rise in the water level along the shore. Rip currents can form by the coasts of oceans, seas, and large lakes, whenever there are waves of sufficient energy.

Riptides   Ocean? Rip Current

Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current. Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current's pull.

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