How To Get Out Of A Rip Tide?

Rip currents

Rip currents

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 12/6/2022

At least four people were killed over the weekend in North Carolina when they were swept away by rip currents while swimming at one of the state's beaches. We will tell you how to get out of a rip tide?

Rip currents are dangerous currents that can travel faster than Olympic swimmers in the ocean and drag people out to sea. 

If you swim perpendicular to the beach, the vast majority of the time, you can avoid being carried away by a rip current. The fact that not all currents move in the same direction, however, means that there are situations in which it is easier to swim in one order than in the other.

We will tell you How To Get Out Of A Rip Tide?

We will tell you How To Get Out Of A Rip Tide?

At least four people lost their lives over the past weekend in North Carolina due to getting swept away by rip currents while swimming at one of the state's beaches.

It is a heartbreaking reminder that the ocean, even though it is lovely, can be hazardous. According to a report from a regional newspaper called the News & Observer, two of the people who drowned were attempting to save the lives of other swimmers.

Rip currents, often referred to using the obsolete phrase "rip tides" are coastal occurrences that occur when a channel of ocean water begins flowing away from shore and out to sea. The word "rip tides" is becoming increasingly out of use. On the beach, these currents frequently give the appearance of being calm stretches in between the waves. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), these currents are prevalent; however, the NOAA notes that they only pose a threat when they move at an incredibly rapid pace.

Furthermore, these swift currents pose a threat, as they cause more fatalities along the shoreline than any other potential peril.

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In most cases, the currents move through the surf and continue past the zone where the waves break. They can be as narrow as 10 or 20 feet, but they also have the potential to expand out to be as comprehensive as 200 feet. Swimming against a swiftly moving rip current is not a good idea since these currents may pull at speeds greater than 5 miles per hour, faster than even the fastest Olympic swimmers can travel.

Before entering the water, it is vital to educate oneself on the several dangers that may be there. You should always keep an eye out for caution flags at the beach and check the local beach forecast to see whether there is a risk of rip currents. Additionally, beaches that have lifeguards present are far safer.

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But it's still possible you'll meet a rip current, and that is what you should do if it occurs.

How to Make It Through a Rip Current

If you believe you might be caught in a rip current, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep calm and stay calm. Please do not make the mistake of attempting to battle it by swimming directly to the shore.

When you feel you're being dragged out to sea, it might be challenging to keep that in mind. However, remember that the current is merely one channel in the water and does not continue indefinitely. According to NOAA, the idea that solid currents drag individuals beneath the water is fiction. Instead of pulling you under, they draw you further out into the ocean.

rip tides

rip tides

Your two primary goals are to maintain your head above water and, wherever possible, to maneuver yourself away from the river's flow.

You may be stuck in a current moving away from the shore if you are getting exhausted while attempting to swim toward the beach but do not appear to progress.

When you find yourself stuck in a rip current, the best advice anyone can give you is to swim parallel to the beach until you can free yourself.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the general strategy should be to stay alongside the shore but swim perpendicular to the current as much as possible "at an angle away from the current and towards the shore." That isn't incorrect, but it's essential to know that many rip currents come in at an angle. The general strategy should be to stay alongside the shore but swim as much as possible perpendicular to the wind.

It's possible that swimming in one way rather than the other will be less difficult. In addition, evidence suggests that certain currents move in a cyclical pattern, initially moving away from the beach and then making their way back. Because of this, several scholars have hypothesized that rather than fighting against the river, it could be preferable to attempt to float with it.

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This piece of advice, however, is contentious and not consistently successful because not all currents circle back to where they came from.

How to get out of a rip tide? If you are exhausted, keeping your head above water while you evaluate the issue can be helpful. It would help if you didn't get the impression that you're swimming against the current. If you need to tread water for a few seconds while thinking out which way to swim to escape the situation more quickly, you should do so. After that, though, get to a safe place.