How to Survive a Rip Current

downloadLt. Calvin Holliday of the Bay Village Police Department reported in conversation with The Villager Newspaper that there are ways a potential victim can survive a rip-tide or rip-current.

It is not known if these techniques would have saved Peter Radke in view of Lake Erie’s water temperature (58 degrees) and the size of Saturday’s lake swells. But these links capture the intent of Lt. Holliday’s message. We thank him for the tips.

Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes .  Rip currents are more common along jetties or piers. If caught in a rip current:

  • Try to remain calm to conserve energy.
  • Don’t fight the current.
  • Think of it like a treadmill you can’t turn off. You want to step to the side of it.
  • Swim across the current in a direction following the shoreline.
  • When out of the current, swim and angle away from the current and towards shore.
  • If you can’t escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water. Rip current strength eventually subsides offshore. When it does, swim towards shore.
  • If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.

You can help someone caught in a rip current by:

  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard.
  • If no lifeguard is available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats – a lifejacket, a cooler, a ball.
  • Yell instructions on how to escape.
  • Many have drowned trying to help others. Don’t become a victim while trying to help someone else!

(Source: National Weather Service).

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