Coast Guard advises caution for Florida swimmers, beachgoers due to rip currents in area

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

The high risk of rip currents remains in effect until 8 p.m.

According to a NWS weather report, northeast winds in the area are producing choppy and dangerous surf conditions. 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.

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