The unusually warm temperatures have brought people back to the beach to enjoy the sand and surf. Unfortunately, the recent hurricanes have brought with them a strong surf and an increase in dangerous life-threatening rip currents. The recent tragic deaths are a warning that caution is the watchword.
Before heading to the beach, check your internet for the tide report and ocean conditions at your beach destination. Do not attempt to go into the ocean if there are no lifeguards present. This time of year, most beaches do not have lifeguards on duty during the week or on weekends. Note if the beach has warning flags flying.
If you do venture into the ocean and are caught in a rip current do not swim directly toward shore but swim or float diagonally with the coastline until the rip current passes.
Rip currents are not easy to identify so best advice is to stay on the sand and enjoy the ocean from your beach chair!