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rip currents vs sharks: which is scarier?

Shark attacks have been all the buzz around the OBX lately, and some folks are even staying out of the water for fear of becoming shark-bait themselves. Rip currents aren’t nearly as sexy as shark week, but the reality is that you are far more likely to find yourself a victim of a rip current than a shark around here. The good news is that you can teach yourself and your family how to survive a rip. This great piece by the Ocracoke Observer is filled with good info (and a video link) that will help you get educated, and maybe save your life.

rip tide chart

Rip current graphic courtesy of Used by permission.

“If you are caught in a rip current:

–DON’T PANIC, which wastes your energy and keeps you from thinking clearly.
–Don’t attempt to swim against the current directly back to shore.
–Swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current as the offshore flow is restricted to the narrow rip neck.
–Float calmly out with the rip if you cannot break out by swimming perpendicular to the current.  When it subsides, just beyond the surf zone, swim diagonally back to shore.

–If you are on shore and see someone in distress, alert lifeguards and call 911. If you go in the water, take flotation devices for yourself and the person or persons caught in the rip.”

Read the rest of the article on the Ocracoke Observer!

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