How to survive rip currents and other drowning hazards
1. Don't panic: Remain calm and float on your back to conserve your energy and save yourself from exhaustion. Remember that drowned persons are usually prone to panic, and panicked people drown. 2. Swim parallel to shore: To escape from a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you have escaped the pull of the current, then swim towards shore. 3. If unable to swim parallel, float or tread water: When caught in a rip current, floating or treading water can help conserve energy and keep you afloat. 4. Avoid walking on unfamiliar water bodies: As lake or beach floors can be uneven or unpredictable, avoid walking or wading in unfamiliar, submerged bodies of water. 5. Wear a life jacket: Wearing a life jacket can help you of remain afloat in the event of a strong rip current. It can also keep you from tiring quickly while trying to swim or tread water. 6. Know your swimming skills: Swimming in a rip current can be extremely strenuous, so it's important to know your own swimming abilities as well as the current and learn how to spot rip currents ahead of time. 7. Don't try to swim directly against the current: Fighting against a strong rip current can cause exhaustion and even further injury. 8. Swim toward a visible landmark: If you can, try to swim toward a visible landmark, such as a beach house or pier, to signal for help or orient your escape direction. 9. Call for help if necessary: If you can’t escape the rip current, signal lifeguards or fellow beachgoers for help.