What is a rip current?

A rip current is a dangerous channel of water leading out to sea. Water left onshore by breaking waves needs somewhere to go and the force of this water forms lateral currents, called feeders, that feed the neck of the rip current. Water rushes out to sea in the neck of the rip current and disperses at the head of the rip current. Usually waves do not break in the rip current’s neck; the water is brown and murky from the sand kicked up by the water. Visit our Safety Tips page for more information on rip currents.

Show All Answers

1. What does the flag mean on the Lifeguard Tower?
2. How can I find out about the current ocean conditions?
3. What do the different color flags mean that I see on the walk overs?
4. What is a rip current?
5. What do I do if I find an injured bird or a marine mammal on the beach?
6. What should I do if I get stung by a jellyfish?
7. Can I sleep or camp overnight on the beach?
8. Can I reserve a spot on the beach for my special event?
9. What should I do if I can not find my child at the beach?
10. What should I do if a lifeguard is whistling at me when I am in the water?