Friday, July 29, 2005

RIPTIDE - The OTHER Shark Attack

Nearly 14 Million tourists flock to Myrtle Beach from all over the United States and even Canada to enjoy the Grand Strand's 60 miles of pristine ocean pleasure. Unfortunately, every year, several of those tourists don't make it home, or even out of the water, alive

MB looking north

Riptides kill more people in the US every year than shark attacks have in decades.

Boys in surf 2

So while my children rode their boogie boards and conquered the most extreme and radical waves they could hop, it wasn't until I had a long talk and demonstration with them about the dangers of riptides and what they should do in case they started getting carried out to sea.

Davey in the Deep

And although my young ones spent their 4 days on the Atlantic riptide free, later in the week, once they were safely back inland with their mother(my ex), 2 other families ended up with horrific vacations.

life guards 2

On Saturday the 23rd of July 2 people were swept to their deaths by rip currents just a few blocks down from where my kids had been enjoying their vacation just 5 days earlier.

Davey in surf gone rough

An 11 year old just like mine, struggled in the churning and roughened Atlantic surf that was in the grips of the little Tropical Storm Franklin. The boy's father and sister dove in to help the boy but ended up going to the hospital themselves almost drowning.

coast guard copter

The Coast Guard spent hours in the air searching for the young victim's body which washed up on Monday, two days after he drowned.

The other drowning occurred when a 31 year old man tried to save his son from a riptide. These two drownings make the 5th and 6th drowings this year at Myrtle Beach.

Davey on a wave

All of these riptide deaths could be prevented by following this simple protocol. Ride the riptide out, DO NOT try to swim against the riptide to shore. Call for help but don't panic.

Davey in good surf

If you can swim well, do it parallel to the shore to escape the ripcurrent, but don't tire yourself out. Float along with the tide and wait for help if you can't swim out.

coast guard copter wide

Basically, don't panic and make your trip to the beach memorable not horrible. My sympathies to the families of all the riptide victims.


Anonymous said...

Just what I was looking for. My 14 year old is heading to the shore with her friend's family this weekend and my husband told me to look online for info on riptides. This is just what he explained to me. Swim alongside the shore not towards it. This will be great info for my daughter and her friends. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Me and my husband just went to maui on vacation. We were up just off of hana highway and stopped at a gorgeous beach. There were lots of people out in the water riding the waves, as well as surfers. The waves were big, and so were weren't going out very far. I dove into a few waves as they came but I could still touch the bottom. Before I even noticed all of these things happened, my husband heard people yelling about the tide, and they were all running to shore, he turned around to tell me and I was already taken out 30-40 feet, and in big waves, this all happen simutaneously. So he says his heart sunk, and at this point he yelled at me to swim. I was getting hit by 5 foot waves and pulled out to sea, and pushed sideways by the current. and I could no longer touch the bottom nor could my sweet husband. He came out to me and we started swimming sideways, but getting hit by waves after one breath, it was tough. I just remembered that thousands of tourist die all the time like that I with adrenaline we swam like hell! My husband started pulling me in and we got to a rock, (swimming sideways put us into a bunch of sharp rocks) it was a great alternative to drowning! So my husband held on to me standing on that rock and then we swam to the rocks on shore. We got out alive! Our feet looked liked hamburger, his worse than mine, and it took about five minutes to cough out water and recooperate. I am telling you, that was the closest that I have ever been to dying! I am in good shape, and exercise, and I am 100% sure that if it were not for my husband coming out for me, I would have been another statistic! Also, once we got back to shore some people saw us coughing and catching our breathe. We told them about it and no one on shore could even see us! Scary to think about huh!!?? I think that we need to educate people alot more about these things and how to respect mother natures powers!

Anonymous said...

Just two weeks ago a couple got caught in a riptide close to shore in Acapulco, Mexico, and they both drowned. I know the girl's mother and it is just such a tragedy. I'd never heard of riptides before this incident and would have surely drowned myself in Mexico had I been caught up in one!