The beach season has kicked off and nothing is better than cooling off in the ocean after being out in the sun. Riptide Current Awareness Week is June 5-11th and we need to know how to stay safe. While many people may think rip currents occur during stormy weather, they actually often form on calm and sunny days.

Rip currents are channels of rapid moving water that are prevalent on the east coast. Before we hit the water, we should check our local beach forecast for water conditions. When you get to the beach, ask the lifeguards about the surf and rip currents, especially if you have kids.

If you find yourself in a rip current, don’t swim against it. Despite what you feel, the rip current won’t pull you under. The real problem is that swimmers get tired which leads to drowning, so it’s best to float and ride the current to preserve energy. If you’re a strong swimmer swim parallel to the beach until you no longer feel the pull then swim up diagonally to shore.

The US Life Saving Association reports that chances of drowning at a beach with lifeguards is 1 in 18 million so always swim at a protected beach.

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