嗨 想要去海滩？哇哦 那听好了！
Hey! Going to the beach? Wo-ah. Listen up!
This phenomenon takes hundreds of lives each year.
But only 5% of people know about it.
Any experienced lifeguard will warn you
about a deadly phenomenon that claims the lives
of more than one hundred American beach goers every year.
In fact, about 80% of all rescues that lifeguards make
have a connection to this danger.
No, it’s not ‘sharks’ or ‘poisonous jellyfish’ or anything like that.
The most treacherous thing that can happen to you in the ocean,
it’s a totally natural phenomena called a rip current.
We’re gonna tell you everything you need to know about it
in order to stay safe in ocean waters.
But before we do that,
take this opportunity to hit that big red button
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What is a rip current and how is it so deadly?
A rip is basically a strong current on the surface of the ocean
that flows away from the shore.
Different factors can cause the rip current to form.
For instance, if wave heights change too rapidly,
a rip will usually appear.
This type of current can show up near piers,
boarding docks and groins,
not the bodily kind,
but the structures built to protect the shore from erosion
that go by the same name.
Also when there are some breaks and sandbars,
water returns to the ocean through these channels.
This usually happens near the beach
and create extremely strong rip currents
that can stay in the same place for weeks or even months.
But in any case,
the main ingredient for all rip currents is breaking waves.
If there are no breaking waves,
you don’t have to worry about any rips.
The main danger of a rip is that
it flows seaward away from the shore,
so it can easily pull unaware swimmers with it.
How dangerous a rip can be?
这取决于天气 海滩的形状 潮汐
Depends on the weather, the shape of the beach,
tides and other factors.
Average rip currents move at a speed of about 1 to 2 feet per second.
But if a current is particularly strong,
it can pull you out into the open ocean at an astonishing 8 feet per second.
Even the best Olympic swimmer out there
wouldn’t be able to get back to the shore again.
Such a mighty current.
rips tend to gain speed dramatically over a short period of time.
A lot of beach goers who can’t swim
prefer to stay in waist-deep water.
Because they feel safe when their feet are touching the bottom.
But there are no safe from rip currents.
Because a rip can easily swipe you off your feet
and yank you away from the shore.
And if you can’t swim,
this can end tragically.
There are all kinds of misconceptions surrounding rip currents.
One of the most popular is that they’ll pull you underwater.
But in reality, a rip won’t drown you.
It’ll simply carry you away from the shore.
Hoo that’s a relief. I guess.
Another widespread mis is that if you get caught in the rip current,
it’ll keep pulling you out into the ocean forever.
Again, not quite.
Yes, a rip can pull you quite far into open waters.
But even in the worst case scenario,
you won’t find yourself miles away from the shore.
You’ll probably just have to swim a pretty long way
to get back to the beach.
It’s also entirely possible,
and quite probable
that the rip itself will bring you back.
And that’s because 90% of rip currents
move in gigantic circles.
This means that they flow from the shallow waters
to the open ocean and then back again.
There’s also a misconception that if you don’t see a rip current,
you don’t need to worry.
But these things can totally form out of the blue.
like if several waves coming from different directions crushing into each other.
Boom, you now have a rip tide.
So if the beach here visiting is infamous for rip currents,
always be extra cautious.
How to identify a rip current?
Going off that last note.
In order to be extra careful and safe for the beach,
you need to know how to spot to a rip current.
It often looks like a compage of water between breaking waves,
which at first glance seems like the best place to enter the water.
But don’t let the tranquility deceive you.
Because you might inadvertently pick the most dangerous place to swim.
The following sides can also indicate the presence of a rip current.
Some area has a deeper darker color than the rest of the water.
There’s a break in the coming waves.
There’s seaweed and foam moving toward the shore from the ocean.
You see an area of choppy water.
What to do if you’ve been caught in a rip current?
When a person gets caught in a rip,
their actions determine their fate, period.
The first thing you absolutely must do is stay calm.
Panicking does not help.
In fact, it ends up costing people their lives
when they’re overcome by it.
Second, you need to conserve energy.
Do not attempt to swim against the rip current toward the shore.
Even the weakest rips move faster than you can swim.
If you try to fight the current,
you’ll just expend all your energy and strength,
which will lead you tragic consequences.
As we already mentioned,
the vast majority of rip currents move in huge circles.
They typically flow 160 to 300 feet offshore
and then come back around.
But still, associate professor Rob Brander
whose field of research is rip currents and beach hazards and safety
measured rips that went up to 1300 feet away from the shore.
Doctor Brander also established that there it isn’t just one
overachieving escape strategy from a rip current.
You should take into consideration the conditions and the rip features.
The best thing you can do is stay afloat.
Remember to hold your hands up to get the lifeguards’ attention
and signal that you need help.
After that, you have two options.
If the rip is circulating,
it will eventually bring you back either to a sandbank
or to breaking waves that’ll take you back to the shore.
It could also just take you seaward until there’re no more breaking waves.
At that point, the current ceases to exist.
And you can wait for rescuers or even swim back to the shore.
Just make sure you’re swimming around the rip.
The second option will only work for really good swimmers.
If you’re one of them,
you can try to swim parallel to the beach
to get out of the current.
In some cases, it’s possible to break free this way.
But this is still a subjective on-going debate.
Dr. Jamie MacMahan, a professor of oceanography,
was once caught in a rip current himself.
Well, he wasn’t really caught.
But put himself in one at it’s on free will.
As a rip current expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey CA,
he decided to research rip currents from the inside
and record a safety video for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
At one point, well, he was trapped in the current.
He tried to follow lifesaving guidelines and swim parallel to the shore,
but realize he couldn’t do it
because the rip wasn’t giving in.
Dr. MacMahan is very experienced with this sort of stuff,
which is why he wasn’t in any immediate danger.
But the situation made him think,
perhaps trying to reach the beach, swimming parallel to it
isn’t the best escape strategy.
He started his own research using GPS devices
to track rip currents in France, England and the US.
On top of that, he himself has eagerly jumped into rips
all over the globe.
Talk about dedication to your work.
Among the great number of currency studied,
only 10 to 20% did not return back to the shore.
The rest of them moved in circles.
So, if you get trapped in a rip,
you can’t really know where it’s flowing.
Therefore, swimming parallel to the beach
leaves you with a 50/50 chance
that you’ll be struggling against the hazardous current.
The conclusions made based on these research
are certainly different from what most people are told.
According to Dr. MacMahan, when caught in a rip current,
you should just relax and go with the flow.
He says the chances are
it’ll bring you back to the shore in a few minutes.
MacMahan’s research has definitely sparked a number of
heated discussions within the rip currents research community.
And well his findings are used in Australia
to teach people how to survive dangerous rips.
In some countries, his conclusions and recommendations are ignored
or even consider potentially fatal.
In any case, the main reason why people lose their lives
when stuck in a rip current
comes down to panic.
When they find themselves suddenly being pulled away
from the shore at a high speed,
terror rinses, they start to panic
where themselves out in the fight and drown because of it.
What you should do instead is stay calm,
take control of the situation,
keep afloat, weigh your options
and don’t exhaust yourself.
If you take these steps,
you’ll have a much better chance of
getting out of this horrible situation alive.
So, have you ever seen (or been caught in) a rip tide?
What would you do or have you done to escape on?
Let us know about your experiences and opinions on the topic in the comments below!
We hope this lifesaving information has been useful for you.
And if it has, give the video a like and send it to everyone you know.
Stay safe out there, and we’ll see you next time on the BRIGHT SIDE of Life.
嗨 想要去海滩？哇哦 那听好了！