Beach, Calif.--Photos from the Marine Safety Open
House. Marine Safety Officer
Tony Villalobos With Huntington Beach Community Services Director
Guide to Safety Tips
3. Don't Fight the Current: USLA has found that some 80% of
rescues by USLA affiliated lifeguards at ocean beaches are caused by
rip currents. These currents are formed by surf and gravity, because
once surf pushes water up the slope of the beach, gravity pulls it
back. This can create concentrated rivers of water moving offshore.
Some people mistakenly call this an undertow, but there is no
undercurrent, just an offshore current. If you are caught in a rip
current, don't fight it by trying to swim directly to shore.
Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax,
then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim
parallel to shore will bring you to safety.