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Expert: Rip Currents Pose Constant Risk In the Ocean

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(Photo by Ed Fischer) Robin Culverwell
Robin Culverwell has been an editor, reporter and anchor for KYW...
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By Robin Culverwell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Strong surf and possible rip currents are an ever-present threat down the shore. They can even pose a threat to the strongest of swimmers.

“It tends to be maybe a little bit murkier looking, maybe foamy, but sometimes brown because it’s churning up the bottom of the ocean.”

Rip currents can be hard to see, says Sea Isle City Beach Patrol Lieutenant Dave Stearne.  His best advice for staying safe in the ocean is to swim at a guarded beach.

But, if you get caught in a rip current, he says try not to panic, though he admits that’s tough.

“Don’t swim in against it, better you should be out to sea and compliant with the rip until it ends with all of your energy intact. You tread water, you signal with your arms for help as best you can. And then, once you feel the current releasing you want to swim parallel to shore.”

Then the waves will push you back to shore.