Get the Gist on Rips

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So summer is here, and a lot of us are going to be hitting the beach a lot more, which is a good thing. Yet, even though there isn’t much danger on the beach, there are some things we need to worry. Not just sharks, sunburn, and people who park poorly, but something a little more dangerous, and a little less recognized; a silent striker that could send you out to sea with no warning. Yes, I am talking about Rip Currents.
A rip current, sometimes called a rip tide, is a strong channel of water that flows out to sea, usually within the surf line. Rips are caused by a simple fact of nature; if the water comes in, it must go out, and sometimes, it can take you out with it. This happens when the wind and waves push the water in towards the beach, the water would usually flow out from underneath. Yet, sometimes the waves are pushed in on an angle, or along a break wall, cove, or cliff or some sort. If two inward wave angles collide on the beach, the water is forced into a direct channel outward, and into the ocean.  You can notice these currents by looking for an inconsistency within the waves and water.
Plain and simple, stay away from Rips! They can easily pull the best swimmers out to sea, or even into some rocks or cliffs. Look out when swimming or surfing in areas that aren’t as flat or straight on the coastline, like they are at most beaches. Cliffs, caves, and coves have the most rips, and are the most dangerous.
So when getting in the water this summer, just be on your toes a little. Don’t let a rip take a buddy down, and bum out your good times. Be safe, and have fun!