Menu   Email

xSurfside Potrero CommunitySurfside . Potrero . Flamingo . Brasilito . Huacas . Costa Rica sherrie@surfsidepotrero.net

002
005
006

Rip Tide Safety

Kenny Jewell - Officer
"As a former surf lifeguard, I constantly find myself when I'm on a beach automatically in patrol mode, and I'm always worried about seeing the number of swimmers entering the surf directly into a surf zone. This includes, and most concerning of all children. I know a lot of people know what to do if they get caught in a tear, but recently it has come to my attention that many people don't know what a tear actually looks like or where the safest place is. swimming at the beach is if there is no marked area.
A person will drown every two to three days this summer ... 90% of those deaths will be related to the tear. Here are some things to help you and your children stay safe this summer. I have also put together some pictures that show what to look for.
1. The easiest thing to remember is that often the safest / quietest area of ​​the beach with the most attractive appearance is usually a rip. A rip is usually the area devoid of wave activity and appears darker and deceptively calmer. It can appear milky or turbulent at times, but it is always practically devoid of wave activity. All that water that comes in through the waves has to come out again somehow, this is what a tear is. (to see photos).
2. Always take 5-10 minutes when you arrive at the beach to observe the surf conditions and identify where these areas are.
3. If you are caught in a tear, DO NOT PANIC. Enter float mode and raise one arm as a distress signal when possible. See which way the tear is taking you, is it straight or at an angle? Once you've determined this, and if you have the energy, swim to the right or left of the flow direction, never against. Some rips can move at 3 times the speed of an Olympic swimmer, you won't win! If you can't swim to either side of the tear, just do it. Most rips won't get you very far and will usually spit on you shortly after they take you away, so stay calm and reserve your energy to swim back to shore.
4. If you have children, show them these pictures, educate them and let them know. You can't always be watching them, and it's only a matter of a few meters each way from the point of entry into the water which could mean they're either safe or instantly caught in a tear.
Obviously the safest place to swim is always between the flags on a guarded beach, but this is not always practical given the vastness of our coastline and the number of beautiful beaches. Of course, there are many other factors that can come into play when it comes to beach safety, but rips are the number one killer. They are not difficult to identify, and 10 minutes of observation before entering the waves is much easier than recovering the body.
* The darkest / quietest areas in photos are tears. The one with a violet tint shows a tearing motion."
Kenny Jewell - Officer