9/8/2021 - Hurricane Larry is brewing out in the Atlantic, kicking up big waves along the Florida coast and causing rip currents.
Two members of the Volusia County Beach Safety Patrol swam FOX 35 reporter Holly Bristow through a rip current to demonstrate how swimmers can safely get out of one.
Captain AJ Miller said that there are three parts to a rip current: the feeder portion, the neck, and the head.
He also said that when most people are in the water, they bob up and down, bouncing their feet of the ground. He explained that "every time your feet leave bottom of ocean you’re going to get pulled out a little bit further until eventually you bob up that last time and you put your feet down and it’s too deep. That’s really when people panic."
He also said that the ‘neck’ is the worst part of the rip current because it's where it pulls the strongest. When you hit that point in the rip current, the experts say, don’t fight it.
"The idea is you want to keep your head above the water. Breath shallow and breath deep," Captain Miller said. "The biggest thing at all times is to just remain calm. Eventually the rip will take you to the head where it opens up usually on the other side of the shoreline where it starts to disburse."
He said at that point, start swimming parallel to the shore to make sure you are out of the rip current before heading back to shore.
In addition, Volusia County Beach Safety Patrol said to always swim near a lifeguard and if you find yourself in trouble, wave your hands.
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