Rip current risk this weekend on Tybee Island beaches

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 2:50 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - If you’re planning to head to the beach this weekend, lifeguards say you need to be on the lookout for potentially dangerous rip currents possible on Tybee Island this weekend.

According to the National Ocean Service, rip currents account for nearly 80 percent of beach rescues nationwide.

Tybee lifeguards are expecting some red-flag conditions this weekend, so you definitely need to be extra cautious if you plan to head to the beach.

You are still allowed to go into the water under a red flag warning, but lifeguards say you need to be extra careful. They recommend swimming with a buddy, and not going in the water past your knees If a red flag is present.

If you get caught in a rip current, lifeguards say to not fight it. You’re supposed to float with it, then swim parallel to the shoreline until you’re out of its path.

There are some signs of rip currents you can look for.

“Rip currents can be hard to spot, but something we look for is a change in texture of the water, and a change in water discoloration. Our water tends to be lighter in color, kind of yellowish where a rip is. The waves won’t break directly on the rip, the wave will kind of split,” Tybee Island Fire Rescue Special Operations Sgt. Jennifer Whittendorf said.

Something else Whittendorf says is important is to swim near the lifeguard stands.

If you have any doubts about the water conditions, lifeguards say to stay on the beach.