Rip Current

I got caught in a “rip” the other day, and despite the fact that I knew what to do, it was scary. So scary that a lifeguard had to help me out.

I was playing in some waves when I noticed that I was further out than other people. At first I tried swimming back in to shore, but soon realized I wasn’t going anywhere. Figuring I must be in a rip current, I started swimming parallel to the shore… again, I wasn’t going anywhere. Fighting down panic, and trying to avoid tiredness, I floated on my back and used my legs to kick. Seemed I was still going nowhere. It was at this time that a lifeguard showed up. At the time he showed, I was only a few feet from being able to get my feet on the ground.

“I couldn’t get in,” I gasped.

“You were in a rip current,” he said calmly. Then he told me what I should do if I should find myself in one again. Here’s the scary part… I did all that he told me except… signal for help. :/

Now, here’s the deal. At no time did I feel the rip current except when I was standing inshore and noticed the strong pull around my legs. Once I was swimming, however, I was totally unaware of any pull.

NOAA graphic on rip currents
NOAA graphic on rip currents

Follow the link of the graphic, and get some very interesting information. I think what I took away from the experience, is to not wait to ask for help.