Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Melbourne, FL

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NOUS42 KMLB 241014

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Melbourne FL
514 AM EST TUE JAN 24 2017

...Tuesday January 24 is Marine Hazards and Rip Current Awareness

A rip current is a strong channel of water flowing out past the surf
zone that can pull even the strongest swimmer into deeper water
beyond the sand bar. Since 1989, rip currents and rough surf have
claimed around 125 lives along the east central Florida beaches.
This is more than any other weather-related hazard including
hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning. Recent data analysis shows that
80 percent of rip current victims are either tourists or Floridians
who live away from the coast, while 94 percent are male.

The best safety advice is to avoid getting caught in a rip current.
The Melbourne National Weather Service forecasts a daily rip current
risk, which is available at by clicking on the
hazards image. Then when arriving at the beach, check with
lifeguards about ocean hazards. Never swim alone. If caught in a rip
current you should not swim directly back to shore against the
powerful current. Instead, swim sideways and once out of the seaward
pull of the rip current, swim directly back to the beach.

East central Florida averages about 14 boating deaths a year, with
one or two of these deaths being weather-related. People in their
40s, 50s and 60s make up 77 percent of these deaths, while 87
percent are men. The most common cause of weather-related accidents
is strong winds that flow out well ahead of approaching
thunderstorms. Gusty northerly winds behind a cold front also cause
occasional boating accidents.

In addition to the daily marine forecast, boaters should check the
hazardous weather outlook, which includes  information about strong
thunderstorms as well as dangerous wind and wave conditions. This is
available at by clicking on the hazards image.
While out on the water, boaters should have a means of receiving
warnings and statements. NOAA Weather Radio is ideally suited for
this. Become a follower of National Weather Service Melbourne on
twitter and you can also receive real-time text messages about
impending dangerous weather.


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