High rip current risk today

     Shortly before 11:45 a.m. today in South Seaside Park. (Photo: Justin Auciello/for NewsWorks)

    Shortly before 11:45 a.m. today in South Seaside Park. (Photo: Justin Auciello/for NewsWorks)

    There’s a high risk of rip current development today, according to the National Weather Service.

    The threat is due to a “developing and strengthening east to southeast flow,” a NWS bulletin advises.

    “The developing high rip current risk along the New Jersey coast today is a danger to anyone entering the surf,” according to the bulletin. “Be safe and stay out of the water.” 

    Waves are running in the three to five foot range, and the ocean temperature is in the lower 70s. 

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    NOAA recommends that you memorize these five words: “always swim near a lifeguard.”

    According to NOAA, here’s how to identify a rip current: 

    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. Watch this informative NOAA video on rip current safety.

    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 angle away 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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