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Surf Zone Forecast
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NOAA Rip Current Information Web Site

rip current safety sign

    Please follow these 3 Water Safety Rules to Stay Safe at the Beach!!!

  1. DONT SWIM ALONE, swim near lifeguards
  2. If caught in a rip current YELL AND WAVE FOR HELP while still in shallow water. If you can swim, swim along the beach out of the rip and then to shore.
  3. Use a flotation device in all water rescues. Don't attempt an ocean rescue if you are a poor swimmer. GET HELP WITH ANY RESCUES!

Beach Safety Tips

When at the beach::

    • Swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.
    • Never swim alone.
    • Learn how to swim in the surf.  It's not the same as swimming in a pool or lake.
    • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out.
    • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to identify potential hazards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. This is part of their job.
    • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist along side these structures.
    • Consider using polarized sunglasses when at the beach. They will help you to spot signatures of rip currents by cutting down glare and reflected sunlight off the ocean’s surface.
    • Pay especially close attention to children and elderly when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing.

If caught in a rip current:

    • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
    • Never fight against the current.
    • Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.
    • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle--away from the current--towards shore.
    • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
    • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.

If you see someone in trouble, don't become a victim too:

    • Get help from a lifeguard.
    • If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
    • Throw the rip current victim something that floats--a lifejacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball.
    • Yell instructions on how to escape.
    • Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

National Weather Service
175 Brookhaven Ave. Bldg. NWS-1
Upton, NY 11973

Page last modified:Jun 24, 2014
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