Ocean Safety

The ocean provides a variety of recreational options, however, it can also be as dangerous as it is fun and exciting. A little ocean knowledge can help reduce this danger, insuring a fun and safe beach experience. Below is a brief discussion of the hazards that exist in and around the ocean.

Rip Currents

The biggest hazard that exists in the ocean is a rip current. A rip current is a powerful channel of water that flows away from the shore. Rip currents often form at breaks in sandbars and near jetties and piers. They can be narrow or more than 50 yards wide. Rip currents are common and can be found on any beach with breaking waves, including large lakes. The United States Lifesaving Association estimates that rip currents account for over 80% of all beach rescues and over 100 deaths annually at our nation's beaches. They are dangerous because they pull swimmers away from shore, can vary in intensity and location, can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea, and can cause swimmers to become tired and potentially drown.

Additional Resources

Below are the sites we have identified with the most valuable information regarding ocean safety, specifically rip currents.