SANTA MONICA—On Monday, June 29, the National Weather Service issued a forecast warning the public of a high risk of rip currents and elevated surf. Angelenos should expect a small scale surf-zone current moving away from Monday to Tuesday. There will be a greater, but still moderate, risk of rip currents starting Wednesday.
According to the NWS, “Rip currents form as waves disperse along the beach causing water to become trapped between the beach and a sandbar or other underwater feature. The water converges into a narrow, river-like channel moving away from the shore at high speed.”
Good weather does not guarantee that it is safe to swim or play in the shallows. Rip currents can form on calm and sunny days. Rip currents pose the threat of sweeping even the strongest swimmer away from shore.
If caught in a rip current, remember the following:
- Relax. Rip currents don’t pull you under.
- Don’t swim against the current.
- Swim out and away from the current, then move to shore.
- If you can’t escape, then float or tread water.
- If you need help, yell or wave for assistance.
The NWS advises all swimmers to swim near a lifeguard at the beach, know how to swim, and never go swimming alone. Swimmers should also check with local authorities on potential beach closures.
For more information on rip currents, visit: www.weather.gov/safety/ripcurrent