Rip Currents

What is a Rip Current?

Rip currents are channels of water that flow out into the ocean. They can be very strong and move very fast - up to 8 miles an hour-  and pull people away from shore. A rip current may be narrow, or up to over 100-yards wide. 80% of all surf rescues are due to rip currents.

What Does a Rip Current Look Like?

  • Churning, choppy water
  • Different water color
  • Foam or seaweed moving seaward
  • Break in the wave pattern

What Do You Do If You Get Caught In a Rip Current?

  • Don’t panic.
  • Do not try to swim against the current.
  • Swim out of the current, then to shore.
  • Swim back to the shore diagonally (away from where the rip was).
  • Wave for help if you are in trouble.


For more information, visit the National Weather Service or the United States Lifesaving Association