A rip current is a strong surface flow of water returning outward from near the shore (not to be confused with an undertow). It is often mistakenly called a "rip tide" or "riptide", which is a flow of water out of an inland lagoon or channel during an ebb tide. Colloquially a rip current is known simply as a rip. Although rip currents would exist even without the tides, tides can make an existing rip much more dangerous (especially low tide). Typical flow is at 0.5 meters per second (1-2 feet per second), and can be as fast as 2.5 meters per second (8 feet per second). Rip currents can move to different locations on a beach break, up to tens of metres (a few hundred feet) a day. They can happen at any beach with breaking waves, including the world's oceans, seas, and large lakes such as the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States.
Other websites change
- Rip Current Safety (US National Weather Service)
- United States Lifesaving Association, Rip Currents Archived 2009-05-05 at the Wayback Machine
- Rip Currents - Everything a swimmer needs (pictures too) on just one page
- Rip Current Awareness (New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium) Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
- Rip currents: Going with the flow (a study reveals that Rip Currents are much more complicated than was previously thought, New Scientist, 27 June 2007)