Long Island living gives us access to some of the world’s most beautiful real estate: our beaches.  However, with that great privilege comes a greater concern about water safety.  Although our urSwimmers are mostly swimming with us in their pools it is important to recognize the dangers of riptides when visiting our beaches.

What is a riptide?   A riptide or rip current is a strong, localized narrow current of water that moves away from the shore with its strength strongest near the surface of the water. If you are swimming in the ocean this summer getting caught in a riptide is a real possibility.  Knowing what to do could save your life!  Learn our top five rules to keep you and your family safe this summer!

Top five things to remember if caught in a riptide!

  1. Do not panic.  Remain calm and try to keep your body relaxed and heart rate down.
  2. Do not swim towards the shore or further into the ocean. Swim sideways parallel to the shore with the current.
  3. Swim whatever stroke makes you most comfortable and relaxed. Take frequent breaths, keep your body horizontal to the shore and keep your eye on the shore.
  4. Motion and/or call help to a lifeguard or another patron if doing so will allow you to reserve your breath and remain calm.
  5. Prepare to swim far beyond the riptide (it might be much further than expected!).  Keep swimming parallel to the shore line until you are sure you do not feel the grip of the rip tide. Once you are confident you are beyond the rip tide swim to shore and seek medical attention if needed.  

Remember learning how to swim will help keep your family safe on Long Island this summer whether your in the pool or beach!  Stay safe!