2010-09-02 / News

Hurricane safety for swimmers

The Coast Guard offered some tips for staying safe as Hurricane Earl approaches.

Hurricanes can create dangers in the water, such as rip currents and large waves. Rip currents and undertows can drag swimmers away from their boat or the beach, and lead to death by drowning when they become exhausted.

Here’s how to stay safe:

• Never swim alone.

• Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out!

• Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.

• If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.

• Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim toward shore or a boat.

• If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore or a boat.

• If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by facing the shore or boat, waving your arms, and yelling for help.

• If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 911. Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

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