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Posts Tagged ‘rip current safety’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape “The Grip of the Rip”

Posted by Jody on May 21, 2013

Rip Currents – Break the Grip of the Rip!

Rip Current Safety

Rip Current Safety Sign Posted on Lifeguard Tower

     If Caught in a Rip Current

  • Don’t fight the current

  • Swim out of the current, then to shore

  • If you can’t escape, float or tread water

  • If you need help, call or wave for assistance


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), rip currents are the #1 safety threat at beaches.

Rip currents can be really hard to spot, so exercise caution if you see the following:

  1. a channel of churning, choppy water;
  2. an area with a noticeable difference in color;
  3. a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily out to sea;
  4. and/or a break in the incoming wave pattern.

If you get caught in one:

  1. Stay calm, don’t fight the current.
  2. Swim sideways out of the current and parellel to the shore, then at an angle back to the shore.

If you can’t escape it:

  1. Float or calmly tread water. The rip current will eventually fade.
  2. Try to face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.

If you see someone caught in one, DO NOT try to rescue them yourself, instead:

  1. Get a lifeguard or call 911.
  2. Yell instructions.
  3. And if possible, throw a life preserver or floatation device.

These things may help you save a life.

The ocean can be a source of fun and excitement, but you should always be careful of hazards that exist. Only swim at lifeguard protected beaches. Before your next trip to the beach, know how to spot a rip current and how to break the grip of the rip.

Source: Ocean Today (NOAA)

Lifeguard Tower Posted with Safety Signs

Lifeguard Tower with Posted Rip Current Safety Signs

Please take a look at these very helpful links:

“Don’t get sucked in by the rip…” Rip Current Science and Safety Video: Australia

The Grip of the Rip – NOAA Video

United States Lifesaving Association Rip Current Survival Guide

How Rip Currents Form

Have a safe day at the beach!

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic is Escape.


Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Common Sense Rules in Ocean Shores, Washington.

Posted by Jody on January 24, 2012

The City of Ocean Shores, Washington boasts six miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. Situated on the Point Brown peninsula in Grays Harbor County, this little town’s beaches offer activities for every taste. What will you choose?  On the beaches of Ocean Shores you can enjoy beachcombing, building a beach fire, horseback riding, or driving your vehicle on the sand. Maybe you’ll want to participate in one of the seasonally held clam digs. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and Grays Harbor, Ocean Shores offers plenty of opportunity to re-energize and rehydrate!

Beautiful Ocean Shores, Washington (Photo by Distressa/Wikipedia)

I’m really impressed by the prevailing philosophy that “common sense rules” in Ocean Shores, Washington.  There are many more activities available for visitors at the beaches of Ocean Shores than you might find at your favorite seaside haunt. Of course there are regulations and laws, but there appear to be more freedoms allowed to the public at the beaches of Ocean Shores than I have seen in most of my travels and much of my research.

According to the Ocean Shores Police Beach Safety webpage, “The beaches of Ocean Shores are some of the most beautiful and possibly dangerous in the world. The public has access to the beach 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sunbathers, waders and kite flyers share the beach with horses, automobiles and mopeds. The ocean beaches are here for everyone to enjoy and we hope that your activities can be guided by common sense. Unfortunately, common sense sometimes escapes some of us and this is why regulations are necessary to remind us.”

“Ocean Shores” (Photo by Tom Harpel/Wikimedia Commons)

Their informative Beach Safety webpage offers regulations and guidelines for Vehicle and Pedestrian Safety beginning with the fact that “The beach is a state highway and all of the rules of the road apply. You need to read and obey all posted signs on beach approaches.”

The Police Beach Safety page also covers Fire Safety, including beach fires and fireworks regulations. The Wildlife Safety section includes expectations for visitors’ behavior around baby seals and shorebirds. Water/Shoreline Safety reminds us all that the ocean beaches of the Pacific Northwest have natural hazards that are not necessarily found on the sunny beaches of the tropics.

“The ocean water can be very beautiful but it can also be very deadly. The Washington coast has some of the roughest surf and strongest currents in the world.”  Hypothermia, rip currents, jellyfish, sharks, and keeping a safe distance from logs tossed upon the shore are all covered here.

Now, get out there and have some fun!  Stay safe & enjoy your day at the beach. 🙂


Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor County, Washington (Map: Arkyan/Wikimedia Commons)

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Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Atlantic City Beach Patrol Helps You Know Before You Go

Posted by E.G.D. on January 3, 2012

Seascape, Atlantic City, New Jersey (Painting by William Trost Richards, Wikimedia Commons, USPD-1923)

Though there has been some debate among the Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches team as to the wisdom of two safety-oriented posts in a row, the absolute best “tally” article Jody found recently was the Atlantic City Beach Patrol Beach Safety Tips.  So, I say what the hey?  I like it, and I’m doing the writeup! Seriously, this is very likely the best list of beach safety tips I’ve seen, if only for sheer practicality.  Check it out:

1. Swim Near A Lifeguard… Obey posted signage/ rules of the beach.  These are always good rules to follow.  Please remember that if you can’t see the lifeguard, odds are he or she can’t see you and may not be able to reach you in time if you need help.

2. I’m going to quote this next one in its entirety, because every word of it is important: Don’t Fight the Current: When first arriving at the beach read rip current signage. Some 80% of rescues by lifeguards at ocean beaches are caused by rip currents. These currents are formed by surf and gravity, because once surf pushes water up the slope of the beach, gravity pulls it back. This can create concentrated rivers of water moving offshore. Some people mistakenly call this an undertow, but there is no undercurrent, just an offshore current. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t fight it by trying to swim directly to shore. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim parallel to shore will bring you to safety. Remember “when in doubt don’t go out”!

3. Always Obey The Safety Directions of the Lifeguards.  Goodness knows, they have a better overall knowledge of beach conditions than you do!

4. Leash Your Board: Bodyboards MUST only be used with a leash. Leashes are attached to the board and wrist. They are available in most shops where surfboards and bodyboards are sold or rented. With a leash, the user will not become separated from the floatation device.  Interestingly, this one had never occurred to me.  I understand this is also imperative when surfing, though the leash generally attaches to a surfer’s ankles.

5. Skin Protection.  We in the Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches team are extremely careful not to go to the beach without hats, sunglasses, coverups, and sunscreen.  Trust us on this one.  A friend of mine was once hospitalized for a severe sunburn.  It can happen, and it is not pretty.

6. Stay Hydrated.  We in the high, dry American desert could tell you that, and we’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean shore.  Granted, I assume this tip applies anywhere and everywhere you might spend an extended period of time outside.

7. Finally, here’s a really good tip for people to properly utilize the lifeguard at a lifeguarded beach: Other Lifeguard Services: Report lost children to nearest lifeguard. Instruct children that lifeguard stations are safe areas and that the lifeguard is their friend. Lifeguards are here for all water and land related emergencies.

Tada!  Isn’t this a great list?  It’s awesome advice, whether you plan to be in Atlantic City, New Jersey or at any beach in the world.  So, safe beachgoing everyone, and don’t forget your sunscreen.  -E.G.D.

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Great White Shark Sighting & “Rip Current Season” On The Great Lakes

Posted by Jody on August 11, 2011

Be careful out there!

Great White Shark Sighting:  With almost no one in the water, the sand at Chatham Lighthouse Beach is standing room only!  Good luck finding a parking spot near the beach! Chatham Lighthouse Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Great White Shark (Photo by Terry Goss from Wikimedia Commons)

“Rip Current Season”, Traverse City, Michigan:  Rip current awareness for the “Third Coast” (The Great Lakes shoreline). Rip currents are not just an ocean danger.  Education is the key! Check out the NOAA, National Weather Service -Rip Current Safety- page which is loaded with information and a rip current safety video to help keep your time at the beach both safe and fun!

"Rip Current from Above" (The beach is seen at top right.) Photo: National Weather Service & NOAA, from Wikimedia Commons

NOAA: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Have a wonderful and safe day at the shore! -J-

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Safety Tips, Great Lakes Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Sharks | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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