Summer Weather 101 – Rip Currents

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WEST MONROE, LA. – (7/18/19)

This week in Summer Weather 101, we discuss something you need to know about before hitting the beaches. We are talking about rip currents. All a rip current is, is a strong current of water that moves away from the shore. These tend to develop during or after strong storm move through, like tropical systems.

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, do NOT fight the current! This will cause you to become exhausted and in danger of drowning. What you want to do is remain calm, stay afloat and tread water. To escape, you want to swim parallel to the shore. If you feel like you are struggling and cannot escape, yell for help and flag down the nearest lifeguard if there is one on duty.

One thing you can do when you arrive is look for the beach safety flag set up along the beach. Each color flag represents the conditions for the water. A green flag usually means that conditions are calm and rip current risk is low. A yellow flag means you should use caution when swimming. A red flag means rip current risk is high and swimming is not recommended. Double red flags mean the water is closed to the public and no swimming is allowed. Sometimes, there will not be a flag present. Because of this, do not assume this means the waters are safe.

In the end, use your gut instinct. Have fun, soak up some sun, build some sand castles, and of course, stay safe!

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