There will be a high risk of rip currents Saturday, forecasters warn.
“The high risk of rip currents poses a huge concern considering the large numbers of people, including the less experienced swimmers, who will venture out during one of the biggest beach weekends of the year,” a forecast discussion from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ advises.
Forecasters say the tranquil weather conditions on land “could lead to a false sense of safety in the waters.”
Rip currents are identifiable by:
* A channel of churning, choppy water.* An area having a notable difference in water color.* A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward.* A break in the incoming wave pattern.
Rip current speeds vary, with an average pull of 1-2 feet per second, but some can move as fast as 8 feet per second, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer, according to NOAA.
If caught in a rip current, NOAA advises:
* Stay calm.* Don’t fight the current.* Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle—away from the current—toward shore.* If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angleaway from the current toward shore.* If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call or wave for help.