Officials: Beware of Riptides

LightningBARNSTABLE – Officials are cautioning swimmers to stay aware of surf conditions this weekend even as the projected path of Hurricane Arthur is predicted to pass 100 miles east of Massachusetts. 

Even at that distance, large swells are expected to produce dangerous rip tide conditions along area beaches.

Swimmers must take precautions given the potential high seas and strong currents expected to be associated with this event.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency offers these tips for those around the water this weekend.

Always check surf conditions.

Swimmers should never swim alone, preferably on beaches with lifeguards. If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.

Always be aware of the dangers of rip currents.

Remember to never swim against the current, but parallel to the beach to an area where the current is weaker and you can safely return to shore.

If you cannot escape the current, float or tread water.  If you need help, call or wave for assistance.

National Weather Service (NWS) offers information on their main rip current website:http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/index.shtml

NWS “tips” page: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/tips.shtml 

Never turn your back to the ocean, as you may be swept off coastal bluffs or tide pool areas and into the water by waves that can come without warning.

Be careful standing on seawalls while watching the surf.