NOUS41 KBTV 100251
Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Burlington VT
1051 PM EDT Tue Jun 9 2020
...National Rip Current Awareness Week In The United States...
As many states remain under states of emergency due to COVID-19,
please check with state and local authorities regarding guidelines
for allowed activities.
For families that are planning a trip to the beach this summer, it
is important to realize the dangers of rip currents before swimming
in the ocean. The majority of rip current fatalities each year are
visitors from non coastal locations. Rip currents are powerful
currents of water moving away from shore and are the leading surf
hazard for all beachgoers, especially for weak or non swimmers.
According to the united states lifesaving association, 80 percent of
surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents and more than 100
people die annually from drowning when they are unable to escape a
Rip currents form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up
water between the breaking waves at the beach. One of the ways this
water returns to sea is to form a rip current, a narrow jet of water
that moves swiftly offshore, roughly perpendicular to the shoreline.
Under most tide and sea conditions the speeds are relatively slow,
however under certain wave, tide and beach profile conditions, The
speeds can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering
the surf, Even the most experienced swimmers. Rip currents can be
very narrow or extend in widths to hundreds of yards. The seaward
pull of rip currents varies from just beyond the line of breaking
waves to hundreds of yards offshore.
Some of the clues beachgoers can use to identify rip currents
including: a channel of churning, choppy water, an area having a
notable difference in water color, A line of foam, seaweed or debris
moving steadily seaward, or a break in the incoming wave pattern.
The above clues may or may not indicate the presence of rip currents
and rip currents are often not readily or easily identifiable to the
average beachgoer. If you are concerned about the possibilities of
rip currents occurring in the surf, it is best to ask an on duty
lifeguard before entering the water.
If you are caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy
and think clearly. Never fight against the current. Swim out of the
current in a direction parallel to the shoreline. When out of the
current, swim at an angle away from the current and toward the
shore. If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or
calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore. If
you are unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving
your arms and yelling for help.
If you see someone in trouble, don`t become a victim yourself, many
people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.
Get help from a lifeguard, or if one is unavailable, have someone
call 9 1 1. Throw the rip current victim something that floats such
as a life jacket, cooler or inflatable ball. Yell instructions on
how to escape.
It is important to note that under any conditions rip currents can
occur and beachgoers should know how to swim and to heed the advice
of beach patrol before entering the surf. For more information about
rip currents, please visit www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov or if you are at
the beach, ask a lifeguard.