6 Steps for Staying Safe in the Surf [Infographic]

With powerful rip currents making their presence felt during Independence Day weekend and pulling dozens of swimmers into danger, your friends at Global Discovery Vacations want to remind you to take your swimming safety seriously.

Rip currents, also known as riptides or undertows, are long, narrow bands of water that can pull any objects caught in them away from shore and out to sea. Rip currents are dangerous, so it’s best to learn how to identify and stay out of them. You should also only swim at beaches with lifeguards actively on duty.

However, if you get caught in a rip current, it’s not hard to escape if you know what to do:

riptide 1

Click to enlarge.

If you get tired at any point, float on your back or tread water between attempts to swim out. The most important thing is to conserve your energy and stay afloat. Continue to signal for help if there are people present. If you’re alone, just relax and stay afloat until you have enough energy to continue to swim.

Of course, it’s best to avoid rip currents completely. Waters are often under a rip current advisory, so look for flags, check local beach forecasts or look up your area on the National Weather Service’s Surf Forecast. Rip currents usually form around breaks in sandbars or near structures (jetties, piers). A change in water color or a line of foam or seaweed could indicate a rip current.

Provided you are educated about how to manage mother nature, your Global Discovery Vacations stay will be spectacular.

Do you like to swim in the ocean? We’d love to hear your tips for safe swimming.

A native of New Jersey, Victoria isn't entirely sure how she ended up in Kansas City, but has enjoyed writing, editing, creating, communicating and marketing for high-profile accounts throughout the city ever since. In her spare time, Victoria is active with local community and city theatre.