If you should get caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Try to remember a few simple rules from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
- Keep calm. Don’t fight the rip current.
- To get out of the rip current, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. This will get you out of the rip current so you can swim back in with the waves helping you along.
- When out of the rip current, swim at an angle away from the rip current and toward shore.
- If you can’t escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water. Rip current strength eventually weakens offshore. When it does,swim away from the rip current toward shore.
- If at any time you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
For more tips on how to avoid and survive rip currents, visit NOAA’s Rip Current Awareness Week Web site. While you’re there, check out cool video footage and aerial photographs, including video animation of a swimmer caught in a rip current, as well as first-person accounts from rip current survivors.