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Beach Safety – is it safe to swim?

rip currentsSummer time is here and everybody is headed to the beach! Before you go jumping into the waves to cool down, be aware of your surroundings. Check the lifeguard stands to see which flag is flying; that’s your first sign of the water conditions. You still enter the water at your own risk and the lifeguards can’t always predict what is happening below the surface like riptides, undercurrent or rip currents.

Rip currents form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between the breaking waves and beach. One of the ways this water returns to sea is to form strong narrow jets of water that move away from the beach and into the ocean. Rip currents can flow quickly, are not predictable and are a result of the shape of the coastline.

What to do if you are caught in a rip current?

  1. Stay calm if a rip current begins to pull you away from shore.
  2. Don’t fight against the pull, focus on floating.
  3. Swim parallel to shore(if you are a strong/experienced swimmer) to get out of the current.
  4. After swimming parallel to the shore and escaping the rip current, then you can turn towards the shore and swim in.

For more information about beach/water safety visit www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/

Burns Family Dentistry wants everyone to have a safe and happy summer!

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