U.S. flag An official website of the United States government.

dot gov icon Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

https icon Secure websites use HTTPS

A small lock or https:// means you’ve safely connected to a .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Rip Current: Protect Yourself to Save Others



If you get caught in a rip current you want to know your options.

The first thing is to relax, rip currents won’t pull you under, they will just pull you away from shore. If you can, swim out of the current along the beach and then back to shore at an angle following the breaking waves. If you can’t escape, float or tread water while you wave and call for help on shore.

But you’ll also want to know your options if you are on shore and see someone caught in a rip current who needs help. First, stay calm and take 10 seconds to think through your options. Alert lifeguards or someone on the beach. If there is no one to help, call 911.

Look for a flotation device or anything that floats and see if you can get it to the person without entering the water. If you must enter the water, remember to ALWAYS take a flotation device.

All too often, someone attempting to make the rescue without the proper training and equipment is the one who drowns. Don’t be a victim. Protect yourself so you can protect others. Remember to always be aware of potential hazards and that ocean conditions can change quickly. And if possible, swim near a lifeguard.

If you make sure to know your options before you head to the beach, you’ll be prepared for hazardous rip currents so you and your loved ones stay safe.