If you’re planning a trip to Tybee beach this week, lifeguards want you to be on alert for rip currents. Ocean Rescue lifeguards are warning visitors to be on the look out through Saturday.
An easy way to find out about the condition on the beach is to look at what color flag Ocean Rescue is flying. On Wednesday, a yellow flag warned visitors that rip currents could develop. Lt. Chad Osterlund says he expects the flag to change to red on Saturday. A red flag means rip currents have been observed and all swimmers should avoid the water until conditions improve.
Lt. Osterlund said rip currents can pop up anywhere along the ocean and they can be sudden.
“If you get caught and it’s taking you out, the best thing is to stay calm. If you stay calm and swim parallel to the shore and let it run its course you’re more apt to get out of it, said Lt. Osterlund.
Mother Hannah Bass didn’t take any chances Wednesday. She kept a close eye on her three daughters and did not let them go any further than knee deep.
“We’ve seen a couple of kids fall in the water and I showed them that can happen, it can take them and it’s just scary, said Bass.
Lifeguards are making sure swimmers aren’t going too far out this week so they aren’t swept into dangerous waters.
“It can take you out 20 yards to 50-100 yards just depends on how strong the current is,” said Lt. Osterlund.
Lt. Osterlund said it’s best to swim in the sight of a lifeguard.
“Everyone thinks they are a strong swimmer and they try to fight the rip current, that’s where they lose their strength in the water and once they get tired that’s when they go under,” said Lt. Osterlund.