If you swim in the ocean, you should be aware of dangerous rip tides, sometimes called rip currents.
Most often, these fast-moving flows of water form at low spots, breaks in sandbars or near structures such as piers, experts at Texas A&M University say. Rip tides are notorious for pulling even the strongest swimmers under the water and away from shore.
The experts say rip tides account for at least 100 deaths a year in the United States, making them far more dangerous than sharks.
They offer these suggestions for avoiding rip tides:
- Before you leave for the beach, check the local forecast to see if rip tides are predicted.
- Swim only at beaches with lifeguards.
- Pay attention to any warnings posted on the beach, such as red flags.
- Don’t drink alcohol, a leading factor in drowning cases.