Hurricane Beryl could bring 'life-threatening' rip currents to Florida beaches amid Fourth of July weekend

Hurricane Beryl could bring rip current risks to Florida beaches as it treks through the Caribbean toward the Gulf of Mexico this week.  

These increasing rip current risks could not only be reported at Florida's Gulf Coast beaches, but also on the east side, according to forecasters. 

The National Weather Service office in Melbourne said there's a moderate risk of rip currents along the east coast of Florida, as far south as Stuart and as far north as Flagler Beach. A moderate risk means "life-threatening" rip currents are possible at the beach – which is pretty common for beaches in the area. 

"Always swim near a lifeguard and never enter the ocean alone!" NWS Melbourne said in a post on X on Wednesday. 

On the Gulf Coast, popular beach destinations like Clearwater Beach, Siesta Key and St. Pete Beach said increasing rip current risks are possible due to the swell from Hurricane Beryl. 

"Beware of that if you're doing an extended weekend over on the west coast," FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Brooks Garner said in a Wednesday morning forecast. 

Click here to see the latest rip current forecast for your area, and click here to see the latest surf zone forecast from the National Weather Service. 

Rip current safety

Here are some safety tips about rip currents from the National Weather Service:

Before you get to the beach

  • Know how to swim
  • Check local surf zone forecast before heading to the beach

When you get to the beach

  • Swim at a lifeguard-protected beach
  • Obey all posted safety signs
  • Never swim alone
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties where rip currents are most common

If you get caught in a rip current

  • Relax, rip currents don't pull you under
  • Don't swim against the current
  • You could escape by swimming out of the current in a direction following the shoreline or toward breaking waves, then angle yourself toward the beach
  • Float or tread water if the current circulates back to the shore
  • Draw attention to yourself if you don't think you can reach the shore by yelling or waving for help

If you see someone in trouble

  • Get help from a lifeguard
  • Call 911 if a lifeguard isn't present
  • Try to direct the person to swim following the shoreline to escape the rip current
  • Throw the person something that floats
  • Do not enter the water without a floation device

Click here for more rip current safety tips. 

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