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Beware of high rip current risk with tropical disturbance

Posted: 5:29 AM, Jun 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-18 06:29:31-04

High tide and strong rip currents have people on high alert at area beaches this week. One area notorious for its rip current, Bob Hall Pier. 

A tropical wave is sitting just off the gulf coast, bringing bigger than normal waves to our area. While experts say it is okay to enjoy taking advantage of the surfing benefits these conditions bring, less experienced surfers and swimmers should be extra careful. 

"As you can see right now, it looks alright, but I think throughout the week it’s gonna get bigger and bigger," local surfer Luis Elefante said. 

Elefante said less experienced surfers, swimmers, and young children should pay close attention to color coded rip current signs posted up and down the beach, and avoid swimming near jetties and piers altogether. 

"If I was a parent with the kid, and I was going to let them play in the water, I’d be with them the whole time. Because unless you’re really familiar with these waters, you’ve got currents and rips pulling you both ways, and that’s why they have to keep an eye on them, because all of the sudden they could be down the beach before they know it," Elefante said. 

Red flags and signage indicate the highest risk of danger. If you find yourself stuck in a rip current, swim parallel to shore and back toward the beach when possible.

The National Weather Service has issued a high rip current risk for our area until Tuesday.