Rip Currents: Try Not to Get Carried Away

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Try not to get carried away…on this CurrentCast.

When you think rip current, you might think the Atlantic Ocean. But rip currents are quite common in the Great Lakes as well.


National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock says there are a couple conditions necessary to create a rip current.

Hitchcock: “One you need a fairly windy day that generates significant wave action, then the second part you need is a sandy shoreline.”

When the wind piles waves up on the beach, the pressure carves a trench in the sand that allows water to rush back into the lake. This happens so quickly that it carries everything out with it, including the unlucky swimmer.

But don’t panic! Hitchcock says you can escape from a rip current by swimming parallel to the beach.

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