Many of us recall our grandparents warning us about “undertows” or “undercurrents” along the coastlines of the Great Lakes or the oceans. A bit later on, the term “rip tides” came into vogue only to be replaced by the contemporary version of “rip currents.”
Regardless of the moniker, the phenomenon is still very much a reality to those of us who play or swim in open water. And while rip currents are not a significant issue at many of our swim sites, they are still a very real hazard to many of you who swim in Lake Michigan at other locations.
Please take a quick moment to check out this PSA on rip currents. It may just save your life one of these days.
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For a new theory on how to ride out rip currents see Sept 1 Tierney Lab article in NYT: New Way to Beat Rip Currents: Tread Water” URL: http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/new-way-to-beat-rip-currents-tread-water/?em
“If you find yourself being pulled away from shore by a powerful rip current, what should you do? The traditional advice has been to swim parallel to the shore in order to get outside the current. But after an extensive study of these currents — by using instruments and floating in them himself — Jamie MacMahan has concluded that your odds are better if you stay still and just tread water.”