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Rip currents are channelized currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches. They typically form at breaks in sandbars, and also near structures such as jetties and piers. These currents are commonly found on all surf beaches, including Great Lakes beaches. Learn more about rip currents.
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Rip currents pull people away from shore. Their speed can vary from moment to moment and can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the surf. They can sweep the strongest swimmer away from shore.
You can identify a rip current if you see:
You may be able to escape by floating or treading water if the current circulates back toward shore. If you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself. If you need help, yell and wave for assistance.
Don't become a victim while trying to help someone else! Many people have died trying to rescue rip current victims.
Before you leave for the beach, check the latest National Weather Service forecast for local beach conditions. When you arrive at the beach, ask lifeguards (if available) about rip currents and other hazards. More information about rip currents can be found at the following websites: