Researchers studying rip current patterns to improve safety

Every year about 100 people drown in the U.S. because of rip currents.

When lifeguards dive in the ocean to make a rescue most of the swimmers they have to save are caught in a rip current.

If you get stuck in a rip current, the key is not to panic and swim parallel to the shore.

Researchers are studying rip currents in the waters off the coast of North Carolina.

They are releasing devices called “drifters” that log data and track the rip currents' patterns.

The drifters are designed to help identify the movement of rip currents.

Many characteristics of shorelines can impact the currents' movement.

Ocean city, the Outer Banks, any beach with breaking waves is going to have rip currents.

The data researchers are gathering from “drifters” will help them learn more about the currents potentially leading to more accurate risk assessments and improved safety measures. 

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