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Thread: "RIP Currents" a brief overview. from NOAA

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    Default "RIP Currents" a brief overview. from NOAA

    Last edited by Sarge47; 07-29-2012 at 02:12 PM.


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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Excellent post. Those of us that don't live near the shore but like to visit could easily find ourselves in this situation. My youngest son and his family are visiting Myrtle Beach as we speak.

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    The beach closest to me is part of the most dangerous stretch of the Pacific Coast. It is one big Rip! People die and disappear from there every year, including Coast Guard. If bodies are recovered, they're found 160 miles south in a bay. It's very beautiful, but I don't like going there during tourist season. It's too stressful to watch parents send their kids in the water to play, listening to the kids shriek as the tide sucks at them.

    When we want to swim in the ocean, we drive up to the bridge and go down to the beach on the south side of the river where the currents are far off-shore. We get wet when the tide is rolling back in. Kids only shriek because the water is so freakin' cold.

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    I think it is ESPECIALLY good information for tourists, rather than the locals near the ocean. If you live your whole life by the sea, you know things like tides and rip currents can be dangerous. When you get some family from Iowa visiting the shore, they have no idea what kinds of danger those things pose to them. It is easy to get caught too far from shore and swept out to sea because you entered a hidden rip current.

    The one thing they always taught us if you are caught in one is that you should swim at a right angle to the rip current's direction. It is like a river, and eventually you will reach the 'shore' and get out of the pull. Then you can swim back to shore, avoiding the current this time.

    Good information Sourdough. Thanks.
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    Unfortunately a lot of the tourists don't read the 3'x4' educational warning signs. I actually witnessed an adult run straight into the water shouting, "WOW, IT LOOKS JUST LIKE LAKE MICHIGAN!"

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Yeah well Lake Michigan will freeze your tulle's off most of the time......It's nice to look at from the hotels hot tub.....with your umbrella drink.

    We have a creek running into the lake on a popular beach, and that sweeps kids out in the lake every year, and the drown.... you would think they would catch on after a while.....
    Last edited by hunter63; 07-29-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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    I'm not familiar with Lake Michigan temps, but the ocean here is 54 degrees in the summer. Folks don't last long out in the rip currents.

    My Mermaid will swim until she's blue. Last year when a jellyfish or squid smacked her in the face and she got an ambulance ride, they never did get her warmed up enough to put in an IV although they tried several times. 2 hours later when she was released from ER, she was finally up to 97 degrees. Mermaids are cold-blooded amphibious creatures. She was ready for her river float trip the next morning.

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    The rule of thumb is to swim parallel to the shore to get out of the rip current. The picture on that site is funny though. Even though it is an accurate representation, you usually can't see the channel. That picture looks more like a tidal pool draining out just as the tide is reaching it or receding past it.

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    Excellent topic. Rip Currents claim a lot of lives in Florida. Often they are tourists visiting, and many times it is the rescuer (family member) that is lost.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    The pic shown is what the cheek into the lake looks like, no tide to deal with, but the channel will change in a days time.....wade today, 15 ft deep tomorrow....yeah, dangerous as all get out.
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    Thanks SD, I appreciate the post. I don't live anywhere near a beach, but its good to know!

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