06/08/09 132 W, 1 I - + 13 - 9 Rip Current Awareness Week

Found in this WRAL story about a Kure Beach ocean rescue, the National Weather Service and National Sea Grant Program, in partnership with the United States Lifesaving Association, are working together to raise awareness about the dangers of rip currents.

These powerful, channeled currents of water that flow away from the shore account for over 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards. Annual deaths due to rip currents exceeds 100 on the nation's beaches. Read more about this safety campaign, including rip current safety tips.

Rip currents are like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, the site notes. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to swim out, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore.

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