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Breaking it Down with Brittney - Rip Current

Rip Current & Undertow Explainer
Posted at 10:44 AM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 11:46:28-04

RIP CURRENTS: Strong winds create high wave action out on large bodies of water and can form an undertow, also known as a rip current.

In the video above, Meteorologist Brittney Merlot explains exactly how they form, how to identify them from the shoreline and ways to save your life if you are caught in one and find yourself being rapidly sucked out to sea.

Rip currents are also known as undertow or riptides. They are formed by a lot of water piling up in an area, which can be either sandy or rocky shorelines, it doesn't matter. So the water water creates a narrow and strong path back out to sea, which is usually only 80 feet wide.

Rip currents form with high winds, high waves and near shorelines.

You can identify the rip current if there is debris in the water, being rapidly moved outward to sea, rather than washing up on shore. AVOID THESE AREAS. The current is so strong it can suck you far out and into the middle of the lake.

If this happens to you, swim parallel to the shoreline. This way you are escaping and swimming out of the strong current. Then you will be able to swim back to shore. But if you try to swim directly back to shore, perpendicularly, you will be fighting the current and won't win. This will tire you out and likely cause you to drown.

Tips to save your life if caught in a rip current.

If you cannot get out of the current, tread water, keep your head up and wave and yell for help. If you see someone struggling in the lake, call 911 for help and rescue. Time is limited and precious in these situations and can happen to anyone.