Skip to Content

How do lakes have rip currents?

How do lakes have rip currents?

Yes, If a Lake is large enough to form some sufficient energy waves, it can have rip currents.

What causes the rip currents in a lake?

 A Rip current is a strong flow of water moving away from the shoreline back into the open lake. Rip currents are long, slim bands of water that can drag swimmers away from the beach. Rip Currents can form on any beach with breaking waves. A hurricane around a beach can also create rip currents. These kinds of rip currents are hazardous.

 Let me explain this phenomenon in simple words. When a wave hits a beach and an obstacle( sandbars, dunes, marshes, piers, and reefs) averts it from returning to open water, the waves, now known as feeder waves, run around the barrier until they find an opening; hence forming a rip current.

Are rip currents dangerous?

 Yes, Rip currents are one of the most dangerous naturally occurring phenomena. A rip current can travel at 2 meters per second and carry anything in the water to deeper waters. That’s what makes them so deadly. An average of 100 deaths are reported every year due to rip currents. 

How do lakes have rip currents?

According to a report, 80% of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) rescues are related to rip currents. Lifeguards save thousands of people from rip currents in the United States every year. 

How to identify a rip current?

Now that we know how deadly rip currents can be, the next question arises, how do I identify a rip current?.

Identifying a rip current can be challenging, but it can be done if you know what you’re looking for.

How do lakes have rip currents?

First of all, stay away from beaches that don’t have lifeguards and proper signs to indicate if it’s safe from rip currents or not. To identify a rip current, look at the shore from some high point and observe the waves. If the wave has some dark flat pattern that is different from the other wave area, then it’s probably a rip current. The more efficient way of identifying a rip current is using proper drifter floats equipped with GPS or using red dye in the water around the shore.

How to survive a rip current?

If you ever get caught in a rip current, remember these four tips as they can save your life one day.

1. Do not Panic

If you get caught in a rip current, do not panic, as that will be most people’s first instinct. Instead, know that a rip current will not pull you underwater; it will just drag you away from the shore. You’ll have a better chance of surviving if you remain calm and preserve your energy.

2. Scream for Help

Most beaches have professionally trained lifeguards who know how to deal with these situations. However, even if there are no lifeguard people around the coast, your friends and family can help you.

3. Do not try to swim toward the shore

If a rip current is strong, it will now allow you to break free no matter how hard you try. So instead of trying to swim away from the rip current, preserve your energy. Keep yourself above water. 

4. Wait for the perfect moment to break free

Remember that Rip current becomes weaker as it moves away from the shore. Once the rip current becomes weak enough, you can break free and swim toward the shore. But keep in mind to swim diagonally from the rip current to minimize the chances of getting caught in it again.