NewsChannel 5's Ryan Calhoun shows you first hand what it's like being caught in a rip current

JUPITER, Fla. - A high risk of rip currents is expected through the middle of the week and beach goers can't be too careful.

Flags were posted telling people not to swim in the waters Monday because of the dangerous rip currents.

They were mild Monday, but over the weekend more than 50 people had to be rescued.

Three of them in one particular area in Carlin Park.

NewsChannel 5's Ryan Calhoun went swimming in that same area Monday with U.S. Lifesaving Association's Larry Russell Monday.

"Just put your head under these waves," Russell told Ryan Calhoun as he entered the water.

Despite flags urging the reporter not to swim, he did what some dare to do, thinking they'll be just fine.

"This is where it starts to pull," Russell said to Calhoun.

"What's weird is we're somewhere where you can still stand up," Calhoun told Russell.

After swimming a little further out a current took out Calhoun's legs, he said pulling him further away from shore.

Having done a triathlon before Calhoun knows how to swim, but he said he panicked once he was pulled further away from shore.

"You ok," Russell asked Calhoun as he was coughing fighting the current to get back into shore.

After receiving help from the lifeguard and swimming at an angle Calhoun made it to shore safely, but with little breath.

"It's almost like you don't have control of your legs," Calhoun said afterward.

"In that trough area the waves may not be not breaking the same way and that's why people can't catch a wave and ride it in," Russell said.

Russell said the key is to stay calm when you feel yourself get pulled further from shore by a rip current.

Before going in the water he urges people to look for discolored water.

"When you look in the ocean you'll see more of a discolored area than the rest of the ocean, which is where a rip current is forming," he said.

Russell said you should notice that before getting in as well as which way the current is going for that day.

"If you do get caught in a rip current you want to use the current to your advantage and try and swim with it before trying to come in," he added.

That normally is at an angle towards the shore but away from the rip current.

Calhoun went out into the dangerous surf twice today.

During his first attempt he had trouble when caught in a rip current, but the second he stayed calm and swam at an angle into shore.

Problem for other beach goers who get caught by a rip current, they won't be accompanied by a lifeguard the entire time, so they might not have a second chance to take heed to their advice.
 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments