Arthur's Widest Effects? Dangerous Rip Currents - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Arthur's Widest Effects? Dangerous Rip Currents

Posted: Updated:
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP)- Even beachgoers hundreds of miles from Hurricane Arthur's path are facing the danger of rip currents. The storm is churning up big waves all along the Atlantic coast, changing the way water moves near shore. About 100 people each year in the U.S. drown because of rip currents, and about 80 percent of swimmers who must be rescued in the ocean are caught in them, according to the United States Lifesaving Association, a nonprofit lifeguard group. Here are five things to know about rip currents:
    
___
    
WHAT IS A RIP CURRENT?
    
A rip current is a channel of water that flows out into the ocean from shore. The motion and waves of the ocean are constantly changing the sand on the bottom. Water going back out to sea takes the shortest path and sometimes all that water flows into a narrow area, like a depression between two sand bars, creating a rip current that can pull swimmers away from shore. Rip currents can be anywhere from about the length of a car to over half a football field, said Monty Reed, lifeguard coordinator for North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
    
___
    
IS IT THE SAME AS AN UNDERTOW?
    
It is not an undertow. A rip current will pull swimmers out to sea, but won't pull them under, Reed said. The currents are temporary and follow the dips and rises of the ocean floor instead of a constant flow. That's why the term "rip tide" is a misnomer, because tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.
    
___
    
WHAT IF YOU GET CAUGHT BY A RIP CURRENT?
    
If you have a boogie board or other flotation device, hold on, Reed said. The current won't pull you under. "People drown from fear and panic. They don't know what to do. They will dump their boogie boards and go under," Reed said. Instead, ride it out. The water will eventually stop pulling out. Or, swim parallel to shore to get out of the rip current. But don't swim against it. Some rip currents flow at 8 feet per second, which is faster than Olympic swimmers.
    
___
    
IS IT SAFE TO SWIM ONCE ARTHUR PASSES?
    
Friday could be a dangerous day at the beach even with Hurricane Arthur moving away. The churning waves from the storm will create new sandbars and depressions, causing rip currents to pop up suddenly, Reed said. Lifeguards are bracing for a busy day as the weather will be sunny and the Fourth of July beckons people to take day trips.
    
___
    
HOW CAN I STAY SAFE?
    
Reed said it is always best to swim near a lifeguard stand. Also, talk to lifeguards, who can tell you how bad conditions are before you get in the water. And listen to their advice. Reed is working Friday and plans to tell swimmers not to get in above their knees or waist, depending on the conditions. "Stay close to shore, where you can manage yourself in the waves, and that will keep everyone safe," Reed said.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Jeff Gordon Visits Rehoboth Beach

    Jeff Gordon Visits Rehoboth Beach

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-08-22 03:34:18 GMT
    Four-time Dover International Speedway winner Jeff Gordon spent the day exploring downstate Delaware Wednesday while in town to promote the Sept. 28 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Dover.More
    Four-time Dover International Speedway winner Jeff Gordon spent the day exploring downstate Delaware Wednesday while in town to promote the Sept. 28 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Dover.More
  • Dorchester Watermen Calling for Dredging in Busy Channel

    Dorchester Watermen Calling for Dredging in Busy Channel

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:30 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:30:37 GMT
    HOOPERS ISLAND, Md.- A popular channel near Hoopers Island, once dredged regularly, hasn't been cleaned up in at least four years.That's the headache watermen like Marcus Flowers Jr., who works out of the Barren Island Gap have to deal with."They used to keep it dredged out for us, but now, if we get a low tide, or even a normal tide, you have a struggle getting in and out without tearing all your stuff up." said Flowers."They" is the Army Corps of Engineers.Here's just how bad it's gotten. I...More
    HOOPERS ISLAND, Md.- A popular channel near Hoopers Island, once dredged regularly, hasn't been cleaned up in at least four years.That's the headache watermen like Marcus Flowers Jr., who works out of the Barren Island Gap have to deal with."They used to keep it dredged out for us, but now, if we get a low tide, or even a normal tide, you have a struggle getting in and out without tearing all your stuff up." said Flowers."They" is the Army Corps of Engineers.Here's just how bad it's gotten. I...More
  • Dorchester County Considers Abandoning Road

    Dorchester County Considers Abandoning Road

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:29 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:29:50 GMT
    CROCHERON, Md.- To the visitor, Phillips Gunning Club road is not in the best of shape. It's got potholes that will put your suspension to work and make your cd player skip, and it has some sections where it looks like there might not be a road at all in a couple of years. But with the county considering possibly abandoning it, people in Crocheron say that it's a gem of the community that should be kept intact.Driving down the road is no picnic. Culverts are in desperate need of attention, th...More
    CROCHERON, Md.- To the visitor, Phillips Gunning Club road is not in the best of shape. It's got potholes that will put your suspension to work and make your cd player skip, and it has some sections where it looks like there might not be a road at all in a couple of years. But with the county considering possibly abandoning it, people in Crocheron say that it's a gem of the community that should be kept intact.Driving down the road is no picnic. Culverts are in desperate need of attention, th...More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service