Hi! This is Pat Weber with the San Diego Surfing
Academy for expertvillage.com. I want to tell you about rip currents: how they form and
what to do. Here’s the beach. Here’s waves coming in over a reef or a sand bar. Deeper
water like a channel. All this water has to go out some where, and it is going to go out
the path of the least resistance where the waves are breaking left. This texture in the
water, this chop heading this way is a rip current. Never swim against the rip current.
Not even an Olympic gold medalist can swim against a rip current. It is not even humanly
possible. You want to go parallel to the shore: one direction or the other. Sooner rather
than later you will be out of the rip current, remember not to panic, and then you will be
able to get to the beach. Also a rip current is the surfer’s chair lift. It helps you out
into the line. If you are swimming, never swim against it; always swim perpendicular,
parallel to the beach.