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These are swift moving channels of water that are difficult to swim against and can take you out to see. Rip currents frequently accompany high surf. Areas above and below the water line that have been dug out by large surf create rip currents as the water brought in by surge and surf flushes out to open ocean and can be recognized as a turbulent channel of water between areas where waves are breaking. When caught in a rip current -- Try to keep a level head, i.e., don't panic! Wave one or both hands in the air, and scream or call for help. Swim diagonally across the current, not against it. Please heed all posted warnings! Your life could depend on it!

Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 30, 2003