OCBP Warns of Rip Currents After Drowning - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OCBP Warns of Rip Currents After Drowning

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - A 17-year-old boy drowned in Ocean City Friday afternoon after getting caught in a rip current. The Ocean City Beach Patrol is working to educate people about the dangers of those dangerous waters.

This was the second drowning this year in Ocean City. It happened near 94th street. 30 rescue swimmers were on the scene, but he was submerged for too long.

According to OC Beach Patrol, rip currents are the cause of 95 percent of its water rescues. They are also among the most fatal natural hazards. According to Captain Butch Arbin, the lifeguards will do safety seminars when they can see worsening water conditions.

"They'll talk to them about what's going on, caution them, give them direction and then send them back into the ocean," he said.

Arbin also explained the acronym they teach people to get out of a dangerous rip current. It is RIP. R stands for relax, or don't panic. I stands for "I'm in need," or let someone know you need help, and P stands for parallel, you must swim parallel to the shore to get out of the rip current.

Caleb Massey was involved in a safety seminar Saturday, and learned these techniques. He hopes to pass that knowledge on to other people.

"I've lived here for six years now, so I'm kind of used to the ocean," he said. "But it can be dangerous for people that don't know how to swim in the ocean."

That is one possible reason why the young boy drowned Friday. Beach Patrol urges people who are not strong swimmers to be extra careful.

"Typically a swimmer can struggle and keep their head above water and it gives us time to get to them," Arbin explained. "Whereas a person that's a non-swimmer or with very little swimming ability, they dont have a long time."

He also said if you plan on swimming, it is wise to speak with a lifeguard beforehand.
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