Swim with Care!

May 29, 2011 sexyknees
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My One and Only Bikini!

I know that I am only repeating what you already know, but since my sister-in-law was almost killed by one, I am prompted to remind you of the dangers of a riptide.  This weekend, many of you will be flocking to our nation’s beaches and going for the first non-arctic swim of the year.  Please be aware of the following signs of a possible riptide (provided by eHow.com at http://www.ehow.com/how_6141897_tell-there-riptide.html):

  • Check the incoming waves for regularity.  Although it is normal for there to be some variation in wave patterns, a calm section between white-capped breakers may indicate the presence of a rip current.  This may be quite subtle, but in more severe rip currents, a clearly calm spot between breaking waves can be seen.  These occur because the rip current is forming an opposing current out to sea, tempering the incoming waves.
  • Look for debris in the water.  If there is a rip current, a line of floating debris, such as seaweed or foam, may be drifting away from the shore rather than toward it.  This may indicate a rip current because the water flowing out to sea will repel debris, preventing it from being washed in with the waves.
  • Look for any patches of water with a noticeably different color than the rest of the surrounding sea.  A riptide can churn up algae, sand and debris from the sea floor as the water is being funneled back out to sea.
  • If at all possible, get to a high vantage point near the shoreline.  The symptoms of rip currents are most visible when seen from above.  Having an elevated view of the shore can also help to see the shallow parts of seabed, which is where rip currents are most likely to form.

Here are some helpful tips and warnings regarding riptides from the same eHow.com site:

  • Wear polarized sunglasses while at the beach.  Polarized sunglasses cut down on glare from the water and allow the wearer to more easily see variations in the current.
  • Beaches with on-duty lifeguards often have tall flags posted near the edge of the water, between which the sea is most calm.  These can be a helpful guide to avoid rip currents, though caution should always be exercised.
  • Rip currents often have no warning signs at all.  If there is any doubt as to the water’s safety, it should be avoided.
  • Rip currents can cause sudden swells of water towards the shore, so if a rip current is suspected, the shoreline should be avoided.
  • If caught in a rip current, do not panic.  Try to swim around the outward-flowing current and back into the shore-bound current.
  • Never swim alone.

I hope that you will take the time to read my post and take precautions when you jump into the ocean this weekend.  As for me, well…I am slightly phobic of water because I got caught in a riptide when I was younger so you will not see me swimming toward Spain…ever.  The closest I get to the water is on a boogie board, which is good enough for me.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and be safe!

 

 

 

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