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Beach & Ocean Safety


Beach Safety: Rips and Undertows

The ocean is a wild place. Visitors come and soon learn that knowing about sharks, jelly fish, urchins, rip tides and undertows are just as important as sunblock. Remember the beach borders a vast wild place and take precautions when you're out having fun.

Basically after a wave breaks on shore, the water drains back to the sea. When the wind and waves are light, the water drains back easily, but when the wind and waves are whipped into a fury, dangerous undertows and rip currents can form on the beach.

Strong waves can stop the beach water from draining back to the sea, so the water flows along the beach to the weakest point in the oncoming waves. Then it rushes out to the sea and creates a rip currents.

If there's no weak spot, the beach water flows beneath the incoming waves and forms an undertow. Rips and undertows can have tremendous power and easily drag anyone out to sea, so be extra cautious when the weather's rough. Remember all the energy of the incoming waves is concentrated within these dangerous outgoing tides.


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