How To Survive Rip Currents - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

How To Survive Rip Currents

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Ana Maria Island Beach, FL -

At least two deaths, and nearly 200 more people, were rescued from Florida's beaches this weekend.

On Florida's Ana Maria Island Beach, rescuers comfort a family who just lost a 14-year-old son. He drowned when he was caught in a rip current.

"The boys were out there swimming, they got a little further than they wanted to see them out there," says Joann Manali, who was with Dushay Nelson's family

It's important to know how to protect yourself. To find out how, I suited up and hit the water. I soon discovered how powereful rip currents are...in less than a minute, I was pulled almost a hundred yards from shore, traveling one to two feet every second. When you turn around, you can see how far we are from the shore.

This is exactly where many people panic.

So, here is what you should do: Relax, find the shore, and start swimming parallel to it. Do not swim back the way you came. This is what you face head-on, the full power of the current. Rip currents really aren't that wide, a few yards to 50 yards, at best, so you can get out quickly.

Stay calm, don't fight it, and stay safe.

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