Health Tip: Avoiding Rip Tides

(HealthDay News) — If you swim in the ocean, you should be aware of dangerous rip tides, sometimes called rip currents.

Most often, these fast-moving flows of water form at low spots, breaks in sandbars or near structures such as piers, experts at Texas A&M University say. Rip tides are notorious for pulling even the strongest swimmers under the water and away from shore.

The experts say rip tides account for at least 100 deaths a year in the United States, making them far more dangerous than sharks.

They offer these suggestions for avoiding rip tides:

  • Before you leave for the beach, check the local forecast to see if rip tides are predicted.
  • Swim only at beaches with lifeguards.
  • Pay attention to any warnings posted on the beach, such as red flags.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, a leading factor in drowning cases.