One of the most dangerous parts of swimming in the ocean is the threat of rip currents. Rip currents are powerful, channel currents of water flowing away from shore and according to the United States Lifesaving Association, over 100 people drown each year from rip currents. Below are tips on what to do if you or someone else is caught in a rip current.
Escaping a Rip Current
If caught in a rip current, always stay calm and don’t fight the current.
Escape the current by swimming horizontal to the shoreline, not toward the shore. Once free of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
If you are unable to escape by swimming horizontal to the shoreline, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore.
Always try to get someone else’s attention if caught in a rip current. You may not be able to escape the current yourself but someone else’s help could save your life.
How to Help Someone Else in a Rip Current
Get help from a lifeguard if one is present.
If you aren’t near a lifeguard, yell instructions on how to escape from the shore.
Throw the victim something that floats.
Call 9-1-1 for further assistance.
General Safety Tips
Swim near a lifeguard at all times if possible. Lifeguards are trained to help you and are responsible for countless saved lives.
Know how to swim in the ocean. Swimming in the pool or in a lake is very different than swimming in the ocean.
Be cautious at all times and always be aware of your surroundings.
If in doubt about current ocean conditions, don’t go out!
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Outer Banks North Carolina
The Outer Bank’s Cape Hatteras beach was just named the number eight best beach in America on Dr. Beach’s annual Top 10 Beaches list.
Dr. Beach, who is one of America’s foremost beach experts, proclaimed that Cape Hatteras’s excellent fishing and board surfing conditions along with being home to the most famous lighthouse in the United States were key factors in making the annual top 10 list. This is the second year in a row Cape Hatteras has made the cut as one of the best beaches in America on Dr. Beach’s list.
There are 50 areas of beach criteria that determine a beach’s spot on the top 10 list, some of these factors include: beach width, number of sunny days, amount of rain and wind, average water temperature, rip currents, tidal range, views, trash and noise.
About Dr. Beach
Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (Dr. Beach) is a Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. Leatherman has worked tirelessly to increase awareness about rip currents and he has written and or edited 16 books and has also written over 200 journal articles and technical reports. You can find out more about Dr. Beach and the top 10 list by visiting their website.
The weather has been GREAT considering that it’s already December! It’s a bit overcast outside and around 48 degrees. The winds are NNE around 15 mph. There’s a 0% chance of rain today and 10% chance later tonight.
The fishing has been slow. There has been some word of puppy drum being caught from the surf earlier this week. The water temp is around 53 degrees.
The surf has been knee to stomach high and the forecast calls for choppy conditions calming as the afternoon approaches.
If you’re keeping up with us from anywhere else in the world, remember: Now is the time to book your 2013 vacation!
Image taken Nov 10, 2012. Looking south on NC 12 in Kitty Hawk
There’s been a whole lot of cleaning up happening over the last week since Hurricane Sandy showed her face. Oceanfront and near oceanfront homes in Kitty Hawk are still recovering and cleaning up the mess that was mostly caused by the ocean over-wash and high surf tides. The northern parts of highway 12 (the beach road) in Kitty Hawk are still blocked to traffic but seem to be clearing up slowly as the cleanup continues.
On a more positive note, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful today! The temperatures were in the low 40′s last night and they’re now in the low 60′s. The sun is shining bright and it feels like an early Fall day. The low tonight is 44 degrees.
There are reports of Puppy Drum being caught this morning from the piers. Other than that, there isn’t much else besides enjoying this November day on the beach!
Kitty Hawk Pier, Nov. 10, 2012
There’s a small wave just on the south side of the Kitty Hawk Pier. The waves are knee to thigh high with an occasional waist high wave. Conditions are semi glassy becoming less this afternoon.
Surfing at Kitty Hawk Pier
Now is the time to start planning next years Outer Banks vacation if you haven’t done so already! Visit our website now to see what we have to offer: OuterBanksVacations.com. Keep up with us on Facebook for all of the latest Outer Banks updates and recent photos.
It’s a very sunny day today, hardly a cloud in the sky! Temperature outside is 66 degrees and the high today is 73 degrees. Tonight’s low should be in the mid to low 60′s. 10% chance of rain. Light variable winds becoming northeast around 10 mph this afternoon.
There are lots of Spot and Bluefish being caught today as well as some Speckled Trout.
Not to much to say about the surf today. It’s ankle to knee high, but it’ll only go up from here! With Hurricane Sandy heading north, we should see a significant increase in swell starting tomorrow – over head to double over head on Saturday! Stay tuned…
Photos and video this morning were taken just off of the Martin Street beach access.
It’s another beautiful day on the OBX! The high temp today is 67 degrees, the low tonight is 59 degrees. The wind is NNW around 8 mph. It’s nice and sunny outside and currently not a cloud in sight. 0% chance of rain…couldn’t ask for a better day.
The fish are still biting! They’re catching Bluefish, Puppy Drum, Spot, Trout, Croaker and Flounder…some Red Drum were caught yesterday, but haven’t heard of any today…yet.
The waves are small and choppy, around knee high. It looks to be fairly small all week until the weekend – it’s supposed to be around head high on Sat/Sun! Let’s hope for clean conditions.
We have homes available for partial stays/long weekends! Come visit the Outer Banks during one of the best times of the year! www.OuterBanksVacations.com
It’s warming up a bit outside! Today’s high is 73 degrees! Winds are blowing SE at 9 mph. The low tonight is 66 degrees. Mostly sunny out! Seems to be a perfect Fall day!
The fishing reports have been looking good for some time now! They’re catching Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Bluefish, Sea Mullet, Red Drum, Croaker, Spot and Puppy Drum. Order up! – I want some fish for dinner!
The surf has been around waist high with the occasional chest high sets. The wind is making it a little too disorganized. The swell should be at its highest today around 3:00PM. It looks to be fairly small through the weekend.
The photos and video this morning were taken just on the south side of the
Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills. It’s the perfect weather for a walk on the beach this morning! Partly cloudy, currently in the mid 60′s outside and the high today is 77 degrees. The low for tonight is 57 degrees. Scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. Winds are SSW, 5 – 10 mph. 50% chance of rain. New moon tonight, if you can see it.
The surf is waist high and very clean conditions this morning and should build this afternoon to around chest high.
The fish are biting. They’re catching Red Drum (a 42-inch was caught this morning at Jennette’s Pier), Sea Mullet, Croaker and Spot so far today. Low tide is at 1:57PM and high tide is at 7:49PM. Get out there and catch something!
If you’re not already here, come visit the OBX! We have a wide selection of homes to pick from, year round! Check us out online at www.OuterBanksVacations.com
Photos and video were shot this morning in Kitty Hawk near the Kitty Hawk Beach Access.
The sun is out and the wind has calmed, a little. It’s still blowing around 15 mph, but it’s coming out of the WNW instead of the northeast. The high today is 68 degrees and the low tonight will be in the mid 50′s.
The surf looks fun this morning! Lots of early morning riders. The waves are knee to waist high and clean conditions. The wind will shift this afternoon but hopefully these conditions will hold or get better.
Fishing is still good! This morning there have been reports of people catching Spot, Speckled Trout, Bluefish, Puppy Drum, Croaker and Sea Mullet. Low tide today is at 11:21 AM and high tide is at 5:22 PM.