I recently saw a graphic posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The graphic explained how rip currents work and how to escape from them. I believe that this is information that should be known by anyone, so keep on reading to find out more about rip currents and how you can escape their deadly grip.

rip-current escape options
click image to enlarge

The most important thing you must remember about these currents is that you mustn’t fight them. Even the most experienced and strong swimmers can fail battling with these currents. The best thing to do is swim parallel to the current and attempt to escape it. If you try swimming against the current, you’ll get exhausted and be dragged further into the sea. Escape from the current and you’ll easily get back to the beach.

Don’t forget that rip currents are very different and they can appear at different places. Rip currents often appear in good weather as well, so always check the flags posted by the lifeguards. Always be prepared to escape from a rip current, because they often appear without a warning.

One of the most common places where rip currents appear is beaches with sandbars. In some cases, the waves will build-up energy and when they break the sandbar, the water will starting rushing out to the open sea. Sandbars aren’t easy to spot, because they can shift easily and appear at different spots.