MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – In the wake of a 14-year-old swimmer who went missing in the ocean in Myrtle Beach Thursday, the Myrtle Beach Police Department wants all beach-goers to be aware of the danger of rip currents.
A "Rip Current Survival Guide" video produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration contains vital information that could save your life if you're caught in a rip current.
- Don't fight the current. It's a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second, but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second—faster than an Olympic swimmer.
- Relax and float to conserve energy. Staying calm may save your life.
- Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current's pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
- If you feel you can't reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: Wave and yell...swim parallel
An interactive online teaching tool, "Break the Grip of the Rip," includes details on how to spot a rip current, what to do if you're caught in one, and what to do if you see someone in trouble: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/training/BreaktheGripoftheRip/player.html