Surviving a rip current and when a human chain should be used as a life-saving technique

Posted at 12:21 PM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-04 16:21:20-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A rip current can quickly drag swimmers out to sea but News 3 is taking action for your family with this helpful swimming safety information.

Meredith Young, the founder and CEO of the ocean-swimming program 'Swim Safe,' told News 3 the best way to survive a rip current is to stay calm and let it take you out before it releases you.

Young said the ocean is powerful and trying to fight against it will only distress you. She said the best thing to do is float and wait until the rip current releases you before you can swim back to shore.

During Hurricane Harvey and also right here in the Outer Banks, a human chain has been used to pull swimmers to safety and Young says its a great technique because it gets more people into the water near the swimmer who needs help. In contrast, just one person trying to save a distressed swimmer can be deadly, as seen over the weekend with the man who drowned while trying to save his son.

Young said in that situation the best thing to do is stay on the beach and keep your eye on the swimmer, making sure you can see them and get to them once the rip current releases them.

Of course, calling for help and utilizing lifeguards is crucial and can save a life.


Rip Currents: What you need to know and how to stay safe