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Planning on a trip to the beach for some fun and relaxation this spring or summer? NOAA is urging beachgoers to learn how to “Break the Grip” of rip currents before getting into the water. Rip currents are a deadly threat — even right here in our our waters of western Lake Superior. Anyone visiting the beaches of Lake Superior should be aware for the development of rip currents, which are a somewhat routine occurrence along the sandy beaches of the Twin Ports, including Park Point Beach, and along the south shore in northern Wisconsin.
Knowing what to do when you encounter rip currents could save your life, or help you to save someone else. Rip currents are currents of water moving away from shore. The strongest rip currents can attain speeds reaching 8 feet per second; this is faster than an Olympic swimmer can sprint! “If caught in a rip current, don’t fight it! Swim parallel to the shore and back to land at an angle.”
As you plan to visit local beaches this summer, remember to be vigilant for rip currents. A daily rip current outlook is included in the local Surf Zone Forecast, which is issued each morning during the summer months for the beach on Park Point in Minnesota. A three-tiered structure of low, moderate & high is used to describe the rip current risk for that day.
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