St. Vincent and the Grenadines – The waters of Rawacou beach are angry….for reasons unknown
April 12, 2010 Leave a comment
If you are traveling anywhere near the ocean this summer be mindful of the waves and how far out you really are versus how far out you feel. Given that a proud and upstanding citizen of the beautiful Saint Vincent and Grenadine area has perished in the physical form, here are some tips on how to survive a capsizing wave or rip current. (Courtesy of Suite 101)
The Rawacou Beach has become notorious for claiming the lives of persons who venture into its raging waters.
Over the years, several persons have lost their lives tragically at that beach.
Recognizing a Rip Current
You are seeing a rip current if you see a narrow, perpendicular to the shoreline, band of:
- Choppy or churning water,
- A different color water,
- Debris or seaweed flowing out to sea,
- A change in the pattern of incoming waves.
If You Are Caught in a Rip Current
- Don’t Panic! Stay calm so you can think clearly and save energy.
- Never try to swim against the current. You can’t! The world’s strongest competitive swimmers cannot swim against a strong rip current.
- Swim sideways, parallel to the shoreline, until you are out of the rip current.
- After you are out of the rip current and no longer need to swim against it, swim diagonally towards the shore.
- If you cannot swim perpendicular to the rip current, ride it out while floating or treading water. Then swim diagonally towards the shore.
- If you can’t swim towards the shore, after you are out of the rip current, wave your arms to get someone’s attention.
If You See Someone Else Caught in a Rip Current
- Weak swimmers, not trained in lifesaving, often drown or get into trouble trying to rescue someone else. Unless you are a strong surf swimmer and trained in lifesaving techniques, do not rush into the rip current after someone.
- If the beach has lifeguards, get their attention. If not, call 911.
- Without getting caught in the rip current yourself, try to throw the person something to use as a flotation device. Use anything available that floats.
- Yell or make hand motions for the person to swim parallel to shore.
Rip currents are a danger of beach swimming, but knowledge and proper safety precautions minimize the danger. To prevent a drowning tragedy, make sure all members of your family or party know about rip current safety before your beach vacation.