Rip currents don't have to be deadly - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rip currents don't have to be deadly

Rip currents can pop up any time, but they are more prevalent during rough weather. (Photo source: WLOX News) Rip currents can pop up any time, but they are more prevalent during rough weather. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Rip currents can pop up any time, but they are more prevalent during rough weather. That's why you need to use common sense in the water. That's the advice from Biloxi Natatorium head lifeguard, Danny Walton.

“It's just very important to know your limits, as yourself. As an adult or even a child and if you're out there with kids you need to pay close attention to your children or the company that is with you,” Walton said.

Another safety tip--swim where you know it's safe. That's the word from Marie Kimball, the YMCA aquatics director. 

“Even if you are a strong swimmer, I would definitely advise finding a beach that has a lifeguard on duty, having advisories out like the red flags and all different types of flags to make sure that you know what's going on in the water that day,” Kimball explained.

When people are caught up in a rip tide, human nature takes over. Something is pulling you out and you need to get back in. But you need to resist that temptation. And if you do, it could save your life, according to Walton. “Don't fight against a rip current. Just always swim along the shoreline if you get caught in a rip current. Don't fight it and try and wear yourself out swimming into shore. Just relax, stay calm. Do a sidestroke or maybe a breast stroke, and keep your head out of the water,” Walton advised.

He added that probably the best advice might be going back to class. “We start them here at the Natatorium as early as one year old, but it's not just kids. Adults can take swim lessons. You're never too old to take swim lessons and become a better swimmer.”

Follow these tips, and your trip to the beach will be full of fun memories, and not something much worse.

Both the Biloxi Natatorium and the Ocean Springs "Y" offer swimming lessons for people of all ages. There are openings at both locations for summer sessions.

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