Rip current risk in Tampa Bay area - WFLA News Channel 8

Rip current risk in Tampa Bay area

Posted: Updated:
Rip Current in Florida after Hurricane Jeanne Courtesy of Dennis Decker, WCM, NWS Melbourne, FL Rip Current in Florida after Hurricane Jeanne Courtesy of Dennis Decker, WCM, NWS Melbourne, FL

The National Weather Service is warning swimmers about a rip current risk in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties.

The risk is in effect through Thursday evening.

Rip currents are very dangerous and can pull even the strongest swimmers into deeper waters, according to the NWS.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water that flow quickly away from shore. They most often occur at low spots, at breaks in sandbars and near structures like jetties and piers.

The NWS recommends that swimmers pay attention to flags and posted signs.

If you get caught in a rip current, the NWS recommends-

  • Remain calm and do not panic
  • Swim parallel to the shore
  • Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back to the beach
  • Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current. Even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly.

Learn more about rip currents.

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