Coast Guard advises beach goers to be aware of rip currents

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Coast Guard is advising swimmers, surfers and other beachgoers to exercise caution at local beaches Wednesday due to a National Weather Service report stating a high risk of rip currents.

The high risk of rip currents remains in effect until late Thursday night.

According to a NWS weather report, the cause of the rip currents are swells from Tropical Storm Edouard. Swimmers, surfers and beachgoers are advised to listen to advice from lifeguards or avoid water activities altogether until weather conditions improve.

A rip current is a powerful channel of water that flows quickly away from shore. They often occur at low spots or breaks in the sandbar. Any object or person caught in a rip current can be pulled out into deeper seas.

If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic. The way to escape a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore. Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back to the beach. Do not attempt to swim directly against the current, as you can become easily exhausted, even if you are a strong swimmer.

The Coast Guard’s primary concern at all times is the safety of all persons engaged in water activities.

For more information, visit the National Weather Service report at the following link: http://ift.tt/1ARZYM7

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