Rip Currents - What Are they, How To Get Out Of Them - Shrewsbury Surf Shop - Wake2o UKRip Currents - What Are they, How To Get Out Of Them - Shrewsbury Surf Shop - Wake2o UK

Rip Currents

How To Spot A Rip Current and What To Do If You Get Caught In One.

Whether you're a seasoned beach goer, or your going for a trip to the seaside, knowing about rip currents and how to stay safe is crucial. Rip currents, often misunderstood and underestimated, pose significant risks to those who go into the water. In this blog, we'll delve into everything you need to know about rip currents, from what they are and characteristics to effective prevention and survival strategies.

What Is A Rip Current?

A rip current is a powerful and fast-moving current of water that flows from the shore out into the open ocean. Rip currents typically form when water that has piled up near the shore, often due to waves breaking on the beach, returns seaward in a narrow and concentrated flow. They tend to flow at 1–2mph but can reach 4–5mph, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer.

Rip Currents - What Are they, How To Get Out Of Them - Shrewsbury Surf Shop - Wake2o UK

How To Spot A Rip Current

Spotting a rip current is vital for beach safety and preventing accidents. Although sometimes they can be difficult to spot keep an eye out for key indicators such as; churning, choppy water, a distinct line of foam or debris moving seaward, unusual water coloration, or breaks in the incoming wave pattern. If uncertain, opt for swimming at a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. These flags mark out the safe areas to swim.

What to do if you get caught in a rip current

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, it's crucial to remain calm and take the following steps to ensure your safety:

  1. Stay Calm: Panicking can exhaust you and make it harder to think clearly. Stay calm and conserve your energy.
  2. Don't Fight the Current: Trying to swim directly against the rip current can tire you out quickly. Instead, swim parallel to the shore to escape the narrow flow of the current.
  3. Float and Signal for Help: If you're unable to swim out of the rip current, conserve your energy by floating on your back and signaling for assistance. Wave your arms and shout to attract the attention of lifeguards or nearby swimmers.
  4. Use Wave Action: As waves approach, allow them to help carry you toward the shore. Use the momentum of the waves to assist your escape from the rip current.
  5. Stay Aware: Continuously assess your surroundings and your energy levels. If you're unable to escape the rip current after several attempts, continue to float and signal for help until assistance arrives.