NOAA urges beach-goers to Break the Grip of the Rip®

June 5-11 is National Rip Current Awareness Week

June 6, 2011

Rip Currents: Break the Grip of the Rip

For more rip current information and materials, please visit

With vacation season on the horizon, NOAA and partners are alerting beach-goers to the threat of rip currents and how to prevent drowning from their strong and potentially fatal grip.

The National Weather Service issues rip current outlooks for different coastal areas, called “surf zone forecasts,” so be sure to check out the rip current outlook before heading to the beach this summer.

Rip currents claim more than 100 lives per year nationally. For that reason, NOAA has teamed up with the United States Lifesaving Association and the National Park Service to sponsor this summer’s Rip Current Awareness Campaign, which starts June 5, with the theme Break the Grip of the Rip®.

According to the United States Lifesaving Association, each year America’s beach lifeguards rescue more than 50,000 swimmers from rip currents and swimming at a guarded beach can greatly reduce the chance of drowning.

Rip currents are narrow channels of water moving swiftly away from the shore, and they can pull people far out into the ocean. Rip currents are surprisingly strong. They occur just above the ocean floor and can knock people off their feet. Rip currents often occur with strong onshore winds, in cuts or breaks of a sandbar along the edge of the breaking waves, and near man-made objects such as piers or jetties. But they can occur anywhere there are breaking waves including the Great Lakes.

Rip Current Safety Tips

Before you go:

If you get caught in the grip of a rip current:

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Find us on Facebook.

Note: Break the Grip of the Rip is a registered trademark of NOAA.