Swimmers listen up! There is a high rip current risk now in effect through Sunday evening. Alabama and Florida Panhandle beaches including Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia (FL), Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties are included in this High Rip Current Risk until 7pm Sunday. What "high risk" means is that wind, wave and tidal conditions will enhance the development of widespread, strong rip currents at our area beaches. Rips are life-threatening to anybody entering Gulf waters.
Keep in mind rips are extremely powerful channels of water that push quickly away from shore. They typically occur in low spots or breaks in the sandbar and usually near structures such as jetties and piers. Follow the advice of lifeguards and the beach patrol. Pay attention to flags and posted signs. If you ever find yourself stuck in a rip current, don't panic. Stay calm and swim parallel to shoreline. If you become too tired just float, and eventually you will float out of it.
Once you're out of the rip current's force, swim back to the beach. Don't attempt to swim directly against a rip current. Even the strongest swimmer can become exhausted quickly, and drown.
Please be safe!
Meteorologist, Kelly Foster