Rip Currents: How to Spot a Rip Current

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Signs that a rip current is present are very subtle and difficult for the average beachgoer to identify. Look for differences in the water color, water motion, incoming wave shape or breaking point compared to adjacent conditions.

Look for any of these clues:

  • Channel of churning, choppy water
  • Area having a notable difference in water color
  • Line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
  • Break in the incoming wave pattern
  • One, all or none the clues may be visible.

Polarized sunglasses cut glare and help to spot rip currents. For more information on Rip Currents visit http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/.





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