Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Burlington, VT
NOUS41 KBTV 080900
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BURLINGTON VT
500 AM EDT WED JUN 08 2016
...National Rip Current Awareness Week In The United States...
For families that are planning a trip to the beach this summer, it is important
to realize the dangers of rip currents before swimming in the ocean. The majority
of rip current fatalities each year are visitors from non coastal locations.
Rip currents are powerful currents of water moving away from shore and are the
leading surf hazard for all beachgoers, especially for weak or non swimmers.
According to the united states lifesaving association, 80 percent of surf beach
rescues are attributed to rip currents and more than 100 people die annually from
drowning when they are unable to escape a rip current.
Rip currents form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between
the breaking waves at the beach. One of the ways this water returns to sea is to
form a rip current, a narrow jet of water that moves swiftly offshore, roughly
perpendicular to the shoreline. Under most tide and sea conditions the speeds are
relatively slow, however under certain wave, tide and beach profile conditions,
The speeds can quickly increase to become dangerous to anyone entering the surf,
Even the most experienced swimmers. Rip currents can be very narrow or extend in
widths to hundreds of yards. The seaward pull of rip currents varies from just
beyond the line of breaking waves to hundreds of yards offshore.
Some of the clues beachgoers can use to identify rip currents including: a channel
of churning, choppy water, an area having a notable difference in water color,
A line of foam, seaweed or debris moving steadily seaward, or a break in the
incoming wave pattern. The above clues may or may not indicate the presence of rip
currents and rip currents are often not readily or easily identifiable to the
average beachgoer. If you are concerned about the possibilities of rip currents
occurring in the surf, it is best to ask an on duty lifeguard before entering the
If you are caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think
clearly. Never fight against the current. Swim out of the current in a direction
parallel to the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle away from
the current and toward the shore. If you are unable to swim out of the rip
current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore.
If you are unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arms
and yelling for help.
If you see someone in trouble, don`t become a victim yourself, many people drown
while trying to save someone else from a rip current. Get help from a lifeguard, or
f one is unavailable, have someone call 9 1 1. Throw the rip current victim something
that floats such as a life jacket, cooler or inflatable ball. Yell instructions on
how to escape.
It is important to note that under any conditions rip currents can occur and beachgoers
should know how to swim and to heed the advice of beach patrol before entering the surf.
For more information about rip currents, please visit www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov
or if you are at the beach, ask a lifeguard.