Treasure Coast Essay
7:20 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Rip currents: Be careful!


(Singing) “Don’t go near the water.” That tune by the Beach Boys in the early 1970s comes to my mind when I read and hear about the rip currents along Florida’s Atlantic shoreline, including the Treasure Coast.  We need not follow the Beach Boys’ advice literally.  But we should be careful.  In Florida, rip currents kill more people than thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornados, according to the National Weather Service.  A rip current is a channel of water rushing away from the shore.  Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when going to the beach.  Swim where lifeguards are on duty.  If you get caught in a rip current, stay calm.  Do not swim against the current.  It’s like being on a treadmill.  Instead, swim parallel to the beach.  Once you are out of the rip current, head for shore.  If you see someone else caught in a rip current, think twice about swimming out to help.  You might become a casualty, yourself.  If possible, yell for a lifeguard.  When red flags are flying to warn swimmers of rip currents, children should stay on the beach and adults should not venture in the water above their knees.  The Beach Boys might have put it this way: (Singing) “You can go in the water, but not above your knees.”  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.