July is designated as Beach Safety & Rip Current Awareness Month. During July we use this month to bring attention to rip currents and safety at the beach. I would like to take this opportunity to educate and spread awareness for beach safety.
According to the United States Lifesaving Association, rips currents are channelized currents of water flowing from shores. These currents are very powerful and typically form at breaks in sandbars, jetties, and piers. Rip currents are dangerous because they pull people away from the shore and from moment to moment the speeds of the currents can change quickly. On average, rip current speeds are approximately 1-2 feet per second but can be as fast as 8 feet per second. Being aware of rip currents and looking for clues in the water can be lifesaving. Some tips to look for rip currents are to look for a channel of churning and choppy water and breaks in the wave patterns, or a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving seaward. However, all of these clues or none of them may be visible. If you get caught in a rip current here are some steps to take:
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