What better way to spend summer than having a family vacation at the beach? It’s a good time to relax, detach from work and unplug. Planning a beach trip includes monitoring the weather and buying your swimwear. However, your family should also be aware of the dangers. One such danger is a rip current.
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Rip currents and drownings
It’s true that the beach is the perfect place for swimming, but rip currents pose drowning dangers to vacationers. Rip currents are powerful, narrow channel of fast-moving water and they can drag a swimmer far out into the ocean. They also can cause someone to drown. Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States. During this year’s Memorial Day weekend, there were three swimmers who died at beaches due to rip currents. Recently, two drownings at Kentucky Lake happened. A 17-year-old boy was found underwater in the Old Beach area of Kenlake in Marshall County and a California woman also drowned in the Cypress Bay area.
Rip current safety tips
Rip currents are scary, but you can protect yourself even if you get caught in one. This summer, start planning your vacation with these beach and rip current safety tips from expert associations:
American Red Cross
- Stay calm. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t fight it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.
- Swim toward the shore or float until you are free of the current.
- Call for help.
- Keep at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties as permanent rip currents usually exist near these structures.
- In case you see someone in trouble in the water, get the attention of a lifeguard or dial 9-1-1. Help the victim escape the current by throwing something that floats.
United States Lifesaving Association
- Learn to swim.
- Swim near a lifeguard.
- Obey posted signs and flags.
- Enter water feet first.
- Wear a life jacket.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Know the local weather conditions before swimming.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents.
- Always swim with a buddy.
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As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I love spending the summer with my family at the beach! However, I would like to remind everyone that while we get excited to hit the beach, it is important to be fully prepared. With the abovementioned safety tips, we can help prevent drowning incidents from happening. We don’t want this summer vacation to turn into a tragedy because someone died because of rip currents. Please keep these beach and rip current safety tips in mind and have a great time this summer!