Increased Rip Current risk on Suncoast beaches
SARASOTA- As Hurricane Dorian churns through the Atlantic, it’s bringing an increased rip current risk to Suncoast beaches.
“According to the weather folks,” Routh said. “It sounds like for the next 48 hours we’re under an increased risk of higher rip current.”
Sarasota County Lifeguard Captain Roy Routh says rip currents come with strong on shore winds.
“People should be looking for a band of foam churning,” Routh said. “Moving Seawardly, and I would suggest staying out of those areas.”
When you get to the beach, check lifeguard stands for signs of rip currents.
“If we’re having a rougher on shore day it will be a yellow or a red flag so they will be notified,” Routh said. “And if we have a strong rip current we will put out signs to notify people, or cord the area off so they can’t enter there.”
Unfortunately it’s hard to identify rip currents from the shore.
“A lot of people get out there and they try to make their way back to shore and then they find that they’re not making progress and unfortunately they tend to panic when that happens.”
But panicking will only make the rip currents more dangerous.
“Well they become tired, they become fatigued when they try to make their way back to shore,” Routh said. “When they’re not making progress they do start to panic, if they try to relax and then swim parallel to shore when it does start to dissipate and they can move out of the current, and then swim back to shore.”
As always the safest place to swim is on guarded beaches.