Miami, FL

National Weather Service Warns Of Dangerous Rip Currents In Miami

Matt Lillywhite
Photo of Miami via Unsplash

The National Weather Service (NWS) is warning Florida residents to be cautious of dangerous rip currents near Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Therefore, the government agency is asking people to swim within sight of a lifeguard and never to swim alone.

Rip currents originate at low points or breaches in sandbars, around structures like piers, jetties, groins, and on beaches with breaking waves. Instead of pulling people underwater, they quickly pull people away from shore. And unfortunately, even strong swimmers can get swept out to sea by rip currents, according to NOAA.

Here's a video that will help you to identify a rip current at a local beach:

According to the United States Lifesaving Association, more than 100 people die each year around the country due to deadly rip currents. Rip currents account for over 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards. Also, lifeguards rescue 30,000 swimmers from rip currents each year around the country.

Florida residents should always assume rip currents are present at beaches by evaluating the water before going for a swim. However, If you get caught in a rip current, don't try to swim directly towards shore because you'll get tired from wasting energy. Instead, the best way to escape a rip current is by swimming parallel along the shoreline until you escape it, per the National Weather Service. If you are unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.

If you choose to swim at a Florida beach without a lifeguard (for whatever reason), never go in the water alone. Instead, bring a friend or family member and make sure you have a cellphone that can be quickly accessed to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

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