For most of us, a trip to the beach is synonymous with sunshine, swimming, and lots of leisure. It’s one of the best ways to take a break from the daily grind, and have a simple good time with the family. Plus it’s far more relaxing than other kinds of outdoor excursions, like hiking, camping, or hunting. One reason why is that we don’t typically associate the beach with danger. The beach seems rather calm and safe, compared to setting up a tent in the middle of the wilderness.
But we should treat the beach like any other outdoor adventure, and by that I mean it’s not necessarily a place where we should let our guard down. That’s because there’s a hidden danger at the beach, that causes 46 drownings per year in the US, and is responsible for more rescues by lifeguards than any other incident.
It’s called the rip current, which is a type of water current that actually moves away from the beach. They’re difficult to spot as well because they’re usually quite narrow compared the waves around them. These currents often cause drownings when they sweep unsuspecting swimmers away from the shore because they exhaust themselves trying to swim against the current. And you don’t need to swim very far out to get sucked in. People have been known to be swept away by rip currents in only 3 feet of water.
Fortunately, there are several precautions one can take to stay safe from rip currents. In fact, anyone who’s a moderately competent swimmer should be able to survive a rip current. The people who drown, tend to do so because they panicked. But if you stay calm and follow the advice in this video, you’ll be able to escape this hidden danger.