Among all surf-zone fatalities, 79 percent are caused by rip currents, and the victims are mostly men between the ages of 10 and 29. Half of all surf fatalities occur along the Gulf Coast states and eastern Florida coast. Rip currents kill an average of 57 people in the U.S. every year. These deaths could have been prevented if victims would have known what to do. Florida has 570 beaches and 1,197 miles of coastline.
2017 #RipCurrents held the third spot with the highest weather fatalities in the U.S.— Irene Sans (@IreneSans) August 21, 2018
So far in 2018 there has been 57 rip currents fatalities, 17 of them have been in #Florida. These deaths are totally preventable. pic.twitter.com/J6ynCq7vG2
A rip current is a strong channel of water flowing from near the coast out past the surf zone. This powerful current can pull the strongest swimmer into the deep waters.
Through July 31, there have been 57 rip currents deaths; 17 of them happened in Florida. The 17 deaths have occurred in:
Coral Cove Park
Lido Key Beach
Navarre Beach (Pensacola)
Panama City Beach: Seven
St. Augustine Beach
Rip currents can occur along all coasts during any season, and deaths due to rip currents are totally preventable.
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17 #RipCurrent deaths so far this year in #Florida compared to 16 for the entire year last year. I’m checking in with #DaytonaBeach to see if they’ve had an increase in beach rescues. #WFTV #Florida #FLwx pic.twitter.com/cf8y2QFlJQ— George Waldenberger (@GWaldenWFTV) August 21, 2018
It is best to avoid going in the water when rip currents are a threat, even a low threat. Always check with lifeguards and learn what each flag means.
If you are caught in a rip current:
Do not panic.
Do not try to swim back to the coast -- you will be swimming against the strong current
and will become tired quickly.
The current will become weaker as it moves offshore. Swim parallel to the coast.
Once out of the current, you can swim back toward
Learn to recognize rip currents along the coast. Many times, rip currents can be spotted when standing on the shore looking toward
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