If you're from the Florida area, you're probably familiar with the idea of a rip current.
It's a strong, fast area of water that can "rip" you out into deep water if you get swept up in the current, and that can be pretty dangerous when you don't know how to handle it.
This video was created for people on the Australian coast, but the information is just as good in any coastal location. It's important knowledge to have on hand - and you want to know it before you realize you need it. The fact is, 70% of people can't identify them.
Find out how to recognize a rip current, with visual aid:
There are a lot of clues you can use to identify a rip current, including...
- Dark patches of water
- Fewer breaking waves
- A rippled water surface surrounded by smooth surfaces
- Any foam or discoloration suggesting that something is floating in the water, like sand
However, not all rip currents show all of those symptoms, and they don't all look the same.
If you ever find yourself caught up in a rip current, it's often natural to want to fight it and swim back to shore, but that can tire you out quickly and ultimately make the situation even more dangerous. Instead, try swimming parallel to the shore until you feel the pull of the current weaken, a sign that you've escaped the rip. Then swim back to shore with greater ease.