4/28/2009

A Sad Story





In Pompano Beach, FL, a 70 year old man [article link] made an effort to save two young boys (9 and 12 years of age) caught in rip currents. Both boys survived. However, the elderly gentleman died in the attempt. He succeeded in bringing them close to shore so others could grab them. But, obviously, it took all his strength and he collapsed in the water. A very sad story. But, one that might have been avoided.

Last year, I made a post [post link] about some people who were caught up in rip currents at local beaches over the Memorial Day weekend. It happens every year due to the many white, sandy beaches we have on the gulf coast. In my post, of last year, I made note how I was almost killed in a rip current. As I wrote then, it is relatively easy to get out of a rip tide or rip current. You must swim parallel to the shore. In most cases, you can swim out of the rip current with relative ease. Most rip currents are only about 15-20 feet wide. Most people can swim on their back for that length. The thing that causes people to drown is panic. It is difficult not to panic when you feel yourself being swept out to sea. I don't deny that. But, if you can simply lay on your back to float a bit to get over the panic attack, you can swim out of the rip current.

Remember, if caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore. This is something that could have saved up to 12 lives last summer at local beaches. Repeat this message to everyone you know that intends to go to a beach. It could save their life.

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