What is a rip current? What to do if you get caught in one?


Strong currents that come into the beach can be dangerous if swimmers are not prepared. These currents have already killed 19 people in the US this year.

When caught in a rip current, swimmers are pulled away from the beach, not pulled underwater.

“They pull you away from the shore,” says Gregory Dusek, a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service.

Dusek told News 12 if you're caught in a current, don't panic.

“I know it sounds counter-intuitive. People want to try to get back to shore, but you want to relax and float,” he says.

Dusek says swimmers should not exhaust themselves trying to swim against the current. Swimmers should swim parallel to the beach until the ocean stops pulling you toward it.

Once this happens, people should swim to shore at an angle and let the waves push them back.

Lifeguards and first responders say people should only go in the water if there is a lifeguard posted there.

The National Weather Service said a strong current warning will remain in place until Sunday evening for areas around Long Island Sound, including Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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