Experts Warn: If You See This at the Beach, Don't Go in the Water

If you see signs of a rip current, don't go in the ocean.

A rip current is simply a current that pulls you away from the shore, but anyone who has ever been caught in one knows that the reality is a lot scarier than that. To keep yourself safe, look out for any signs of a rip current before going into the ocean.

Rip currents can change speeds without warning, and they have the capacity to drag even experienced swimmers far from the safety of the shore.

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, your instinct might be to panic, but that's the worst thing you can do. The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) advises that you should stay calm and not try to swim against the current. Instead, you should swim parallel to the shoreline

If you cannot swim your way out of the rip current, tread water and wait for the current to subside, then swim at an angle toward the shore. And don't be afraid to call out for help by facing the shore, waving your hands, and letting people know you're in distress.

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