Thu 31 May, 2007 09:44 pm
Seems every time I turn on the damn TV lately, I hear about another fool drowning after getting caught in a rip tide. I don't want to lose any A2Kers that way and this is just plain stupid, so listen up! A rip current is nothing more than water rushing out to sea. Sometimes the ocean will develop a narrow channel (usually not more than 10 to 30 Yds wide) where the current returns to the sea. They tend to develop most often when the wind is coming in from the sea, making it easier for the water to come in than go back out. They can sometimes be identified by a foamy surface and cuts in the middle of curling waves, but don't rely on it.
When conditions are right for rip currents; it will usually be posted so if you are a weak swimmer; stay your weak ass out of the water.
While it may be a little scary watching the beach get further away; it's no good reason to panic. If you swim towards shore, you'll only exhaust yourself, because you are no match for Mother Nature. Simply swim parallel to the shore until you escape the pull of the rip current, and then swim towards shore. If you are too weak for that; just friggin relax. The salt in the ocean makes you extra buoyant so take a deep breath and concentrate on keeping your lunges half full of air as you breathe... and I promise you; you will float like a piece of driftwood. The further out to sea you get, the weaker the rip tide will become. You can float for hours, so make your way side ways, and then start making your way back... which in all likelihood the waves will take you back in anyway once you've escaped the rip current (assuming no one's come to rescue your dumb ass yet.)
Memorize this simple truth and teach your kids. I'm sick of hearing about people dying from simple ignorance. This has been a public service message. Please feature... and bump...
Joe(I had a hot dog twenty minutes ago, will I get a cramp?)Nation
And while we're on the subject...
Stay off of the beached logs and don't "rescue" the seal pups.
I'll bet you were embarrassed, Phoenix. My dumbest adventure to date (if you don't count regularly taking a 23 footer out for fun during small craft advisories) is taking a midnight swim on a windy night without leaving someone on the boat.
I had to swim my ass off to catch it.
If I still had a surf board; I'd be looking for a riptide today! They're calling for 6 to 8 foot seas, and a rip tide would act as a fine tow-rope to get behind the breakwater!
Seriously though, they've literally sucked hundreds of people out in the last few weeks and I think the death toll is now around half a dozen. It amazes me that EVERYONE doesn't know the basics of escaping them.
Probably the tourists. Ocean swimming in Texas is very tame; the whole Gulf of Mexico is calm.
DrewDad- It's the same where I am, near the gulf coast of Florida. It LOOKS like the ocean, but without some of the ocean's inherent dangers.
Wild Bill, living on the Atlantic ocean, I know the rules, buddy, and I am a strong swimmer. Usually, there are sign posted about rip tides, but when we were camping, the only signs that were seen had to do with the nesting places of the giant sea turtle.
Don't swim much in the ocean as much as I love it; too many strange creatures live there.
Exactly, Phoenix, but there is a cure for them little clear creatures when they get you. Just put a little meat tenderizer on the smitten place. Somehow, it breaks down the protein and it's all better.
The ones that are weird are the man-o-war that often litter the beach, especially after a big storm.
Da, sharks don't like the taste of humans, so they usually only bite you once. I haven't yet had the pleasure of the jellyfish yet, but I've heard it sucks.
Well, Wild Bill. I saw a hammerhead shark( approximately twelve feet) so close to shore that you could have touched it by bending over just a bit. It was in, what we call, the shallows of the ocean. I followed it down as far as I could, and our friend had a type of bull horn that alerted the folks on down the beach. They were tourists, and they didn't seem to get it.
A hammerhead? Hell, he's practically as docile as a dophin.
According to the International Shark Attack Files the Hammerhead shark has been attributed with a total of 33 recorded attacks since 1580 with no deaths.
You are over 500,000 times more likely to be struck by lightning. Next time just feed the little feller. :wink:
That's what I was afraid of--feeding him. ME. They are aggressive, and I think I would rather feed my alligator.
You may be thinking of a bonnethead.
You think I rattled the 33 attacks with no deaths in 4 Centuries off top of my head?
(That was a cut and paste paragraph). And 12 feet is on the small side; they go 10 to 20.
I'm just teasing anyway, but they aren't the monsters Great Whites occasionally are. Even they get a bad rap as the "Man Eater", when the truth is they've only got 67 confirmed kills in 4 centuries out of only 348 attacks. In the grand scheme of things; that's nothing. A million people will die this year alone from the common Flu. You are 1,000 more likely to drown without a shark's assistance than you are to be killed by one. (my lightning comparison above should read 500, not 500,000
Oh, and stay away from the Gators; they do in a couple decades what it takes the Great White 4 Centuries to accomplish. :wink:
I know, Wild Bill. I just don't take any chances. One of Bud's friends got tetanus stepping on a broken sea shell. Ahhhh, but the beach and it's beauty is worth it. Even on an overcast day like to day, driving home on A1A, the ocean gave me a sense of calm.
Update: OCCOMBILL here. Just learned scientists have sent GPS laden floatation devices out to study riptides, and learned they actually tended to run in inconsistent circles... and now recommend that you initially just concentrate on staying above water for 5 to 10 minutes, conserving your energy to swim sideways until you're closer to shore. Pay attention to shore so you know which direction to swim, to avoid swimming right back into it. Cheers all.
You look familiar, have you been to Schenectady?