Riptides reach dangerous numbers this summer - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Riptides reach dangerous numbers this summer

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Due to an active storm season from 2012-2013, officials say rip currents are worse than ever as the ocean floor shifts.


"Really as the water comes in, it also has to go out and often times it forms channels or rivers... that make it go out quicker," Ron Morales of the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

This season's violent water has taken a 17-year-old swimming at Sullivan's Island and with Tropical Storm Andrea a surfer disappeared off the coast of Myrtle Beach.

"If we're under a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning, you really don't need to be in the water, that's probably one of the least safest places to be," Cole Thomas of the Isle of Palms County Park said. 

Winter storms, starting with Hurricane Sandy, altered the land at the beach and under the ocean, Thomas said.

Saturday at the Isle of Palms, two young children spoke with News 2 about the strong currents.

"I try to swim really hard but I can't, it just sucks me in!" said one little girl.

"My legs were getting sore. I was trying to get back, like I was several feet from where my mom was," said another little boy.

Experts say where swimmers get caught in a life or death situation is trying to fight the flow of the water. Instead, swim parallel to the beach until you're free.
 
They're always there, Morales said, so when NWS says a "low risk" or "moderate risk," that doesn't mean you can't be hurt or killed but as we ramp up the risk the likelihood of you being caught in them becomes higher and you might not want to go in the water.

 

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