Last Updated on July 23, 2019 by Gardens Home Management Services

A rip current is a narrow, powerful current of water that runs perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean. These currents may extend 200 to 2,500 feet (61 to 762 meters) in length, but are typica…lly less than 30 feet (9 meters) wide. Rip currents can often move at more than five miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour).

This PSA, the Severe Weather Awareness Week High School Entry Contest Winner in 2010, highlights a valuable Rip Current Safety Tip.

If you are caught in a rip current, swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle–away from the current–towards shore. Think of a rip current like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.

Remember “Swim to the Side to Stay Alive”!

Go to for more information on rip currents.