Rip current advisory: Coast Guard urges caution for beachgoers, small boaters in Northern Florida

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Coast Guard is advising swimmers, surfers and 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 through Wednesday night.

According to a NWS weather report, four to six-foot waves are expected in the strong onshore flow, which will make for dangerous swimming conditions in the surf zone. Minor beach erosion will occur during times of high tide.

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 on the NWS report, visit the following link: http://ift.tt/1ARZYM7

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