In Florida we are all used to hearing about rip tides or rip currents along our beaches. Unfortunately, they are not as aware of these in the northern states and several swimmers drowned this weekend due to strong currents on New York City and Long Island Beaches. None of the authorities could call to mind another tragic event of this many missing swimmers caused by the swift currents. Experts have warned that only experienced surf swimmer enter the waters.
– A Queens beach known for strong undertows and riptides, swept away a 23-year-old man Friday according to Coast Guard reports.
– Friday afternoon a man in his 20s drowned while swimming at Sandy Bar Beach on Long Island’s East End.
-A teenager disappeared and another man died Friday, after lifeguard hours in about four foot waters during a football game.
-A ten year old girl, Akira Johnson, drowned Saturday afternoon and the search extended into Sunday.
-Saturday evening a 29 year old man died about 150 yards from Long Island‚Äôs shore.
-Saturday afternoon, Southhampton Town reported a 42 year old man died after swimming at a beach in Suffolk County.
Please pay attention to the following so you know how to escape if you are ever caught in a rip tide:
If you are on a surfboard or raft, keep it with you to stay visible and afloat. You may get pulled further out to sea, but you have a crutch with these items.
Remain calm! Riptides are usually no more than 100 feet wide, so you can get out of this if you swim parallel to the shore.
NEVER try to swim directly back to shore you will drown! You must conserve your energy. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current and then you will be able to swim back to the beach.
If you wear polarized sunglasses, you may be able to recognize rip currents.
-Look for a channel of choppy water, or a trench in the sand.
-A very distinct color varience in the water.
-Breaks in the wave pattern.
-Debris or seaweed heading out to sea.
If you are not an experienced swimmer, swim in areas where a lifeguard is on duty, pay attention to the warning flags and NEVER swim alone.