One of the deadliest natural killers is not a wild animal or the more commonly feared hurricanes and flash floods, but the rip tide.
It is a nightmare for the beach-goer as it may go undetected and, before you know it, you’re in the middle of the ocean drowning and panicking.
People need to be more aware of this natural occurrence as it has the potential of abruptly taking away lives.
Just last year, a five people died in a horrific seaside accident in Camber Sands, England after their bodies were helplessly dragged into the open sea and drowned, all by the vicious work of a rip tide.
Another incident happened in the same area when a 19-year old boy drowned and lost his life after being caught in a rip tide.
A rip tide is a strong, narrow current that flows away from the beach caused by undersea waves crashing with each other. Many people believe that they drag you underwater, but, as a matter of fact, they really pull you out to sea, giving them the nickname 'rivers of the sea'.
So what does one have to do when caught in this lethal current? First, do not panic. Instead, assess the situation. The natural tendency is to swim against the current and make your way back to the shore, but this wastes away precious energy needed to survive.
Next, attempt to float along with the current and raise one arm as a distress signal. Afterwards, identify the rip tide's direction and swim to the left or right of it, and never against it. The rip tide will “spit you out” of its current and into a safer place so you can swim back to the shore.
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