Here’s how to escape deadly rip currents at the beach

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J.  — Rip currents have led to a deadly summer at the New Jersey and New York shores.

Lifeguards and weather forecasters have issued warnings for swimmers to be aware to keep themselves safe.

Six people died between June and July due to rip currents in New Jersey and rip currents have killed at least 40 people along U.S. beaches so far this year. The weather service says the narrow bands generated by waves, wind and the ocean floor have claimed 735 lives since 2002.

Here are some safety tips to know before going for a swim:

  • Beachgoers should never swim on unguarded beaches
  • If caught in a current, swim parallel to shore  until you escape the current’s pull, then swim back to land at an angle
  • Don’t try to fight a rip current. These are fast waters moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second. Swimmers who try to fight rip currents put themselves at risk of drowning because of fatigue.
  • Stay calm and float to conserve energy
  • If in doubt, don’t go out