How Do Rip Currents Work?

How Do Rip Currents Work?

August 10, 2017 11:03 PM

Dangerous swimming conditions played a role in the death of two people in Lake Superior off Duluth's Park Point Thursday. So how do rip currents work and what do you do if you get caught in one?

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A red flag warning was issued for Park Point beaches early Thursday morning. That happens when strong winds are coming off the lake. They can create waves three to five feet tall.

As the wave crashes and hits the shore, it then spreads outward, and the current goes back out toward the lake.

A common misconception is that rip currents will pull you under. Chief Meteorologist Justin Liles says that's not the case. Rip currents pull you away from the shore. They can move at about one to two feet per second, and be as wide as 50 yards.

If you get caught in one, don't fight the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you get into a current that's coming into the shore.


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