Arthur’s gone, but high rip current risk remains Saturday

     Late afternoon Saturday in South Seaside Park.

    Late afternoon Saturday in South Seaside Park.

    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.

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