Rip Currents Also Arrive As Labor Day Comes To The Beach
Crowds are out in force on this last official summer holiday
“I don’t go into the water. I’m from the Caribbean. The water is way too cold,” said Flora Hyacinth.
She was not, therefore, concerned about rip currents. Hyacinth was at Dog Beach with a group of friends, including Carolyn Ryan and her son Chris.
“I did hear about it," said Carolyn. "My son and his friend have been surfing out in the water all morning. The lifeguards, I did hear them say something about a rip current up front and I just said, 'OK they’re out there,'” she said.
On this last big weekend of summer, the National Weather Service is warning that the risk of rip currents is high. Roughly 80 percent of the ocean rescues are because of rip currents, according to the US Lifesaving Association.
“I know we’ve been making a few rescues here today. The surf has picked up so with the increased surf, it increases the rip current,” said Lt. Brian Clark, with the Marine Safety of the San Diego Fire Rescue LifeGuard Services.
When rip currents do form at places like Dog Beach, in Ocean Beach, Clark said the first step for swimmers is not to panic.
“And if you feel like the current is taking you one direction, parallel a little bit, then you want to go in that direction. So if you feel like with this south swell, it’s pushing you further north, as you get pulled out, you want to go in a northern direction. And once you’re out of the rip current then you can swim back to shore,” he said.
The National Weather Service says the elevated surf and strong rip current conditions will continue into tonight. Surf will reach 3 to 4 feet throughout parts of the day.