Jul 052013
 

Sea backflows!

As waves travel from deep to shallow water, they will break near the shoreline. When waves break strongly in some locations and weakly in others, this can cause circulation cells which are seen as rip currents(backflow): narrow, fast-moving belts of water traveling offshore.

Why backflow is dangerous?

Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beachgoers. They are particularly dangerous for weak or non-swimmers. Rip current speeds are typically 1-2 feet per second. However, speeds as high as 8 feet per second have been measured–this is faster than an Olympic swimmer can sprint! Thus, rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.

Over 100 drownings due to rip currents occur every year in the United States. More than 80% of water rescues on surf beaches are due to rip currents.
Rip currents can occur at any surf beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes.

How to recognize the backflow

look for any of these clues:

  • a channel of churning, choppy water
  • an area having a notable difference in water color
  • a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
  • a break in the incoming wave pattern

None, one, or more of the above clues may indicate the presence of rip currents (backflows). Rip currents are often not readily or easily identifiable to the average beachgoer. For your safety, be aware of this major surf zone hazard. Polarized sunglasses make it easier to see the rip current clues provided above.

 

 

sea-backflow

 

How to get out of the backflow:

Learn how to swim!

  • Never swim alone.
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
  • If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself:  face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1 . Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

sea-water-rip-current-escape-danger                                                           NOAA

Other safety tips include:

  • Use lifeguarded beaches during summer months. Scheduled hours of lifeguarded beaches may vary.
  • Non-swimmers should use Coast Guard-approved flotation vests, even while wading.
  • Do not swim in the ocean alone – take a buddy with you
  • Stay Sober – don’t swim while intoxicated. Alcohol can affect your judgment and your body temperature – impairing your ability to swim.
  • Don’t swim during rough seas. Broken necks and paralysis have resulted from swimmers being thrown into the ocean bottom headfirst.
  • The force of big waves crashing at the shore’s edge can pick you up and throw you into the sand. This may result in a dislocated shoulder or knee.
  • Due to dangerous currents, never swim in the inlets.
  • Do not swim at night or near fishing piers.
  • Children should swim only with adult supervision.
  • Know the various types of ocean currents and how to get out of them.
  • Watch the weather. Storms and squalls come up quickly.
  • Don’t swim during thunderstorms; lightening is extremely dangerous and does strike the beach.
  • Don’t wear shiny objects when swimming – these objects may attract sharks and other fish.
  • Watch for jellyfish. If stung, seek first aid if needed. Don’t rub sand on the stings. Spraying or pouring vinegar on the sting site often reduces the pain. If you don’t have vinegar, try ammonia or denatured alcohol.
  • Do not swim near surfers – surfboard fins can cut you.

Fellow travelers

 YOL  Comments Off on Fellow travelers
Sep 042010
 

All of us are en route.
We walk on our paths and try to get there where it is safe and pleasant to be.
While we go, we meet fellow travelers and we ask them the road.
The majority of them, sincerely trying to help, would prompt with pleasure.
Even if they don’t have or even never had maps of these roads.
They do not hesitate to advise because other fellow travelers, worthy of their trust,
have shown them the same way. Our well-wishers are ready to pass the old advice to us
even if they did not ever have tools and ability to estimate truthfulness of the council.
Our fellow travelers often wish to help us with a good advice.
We also meet another kind of advisers, the fellow travelers, who are ready to explain the roads to the place
for small constant payment . These shepherds will frighten us on all our way to the final point.
The whole journey will be filled with fear and overcoming of the imaginary barriers built by our guides
for the justification of the requisitions. When they will have brought us to there where themselves did not expect to get,
we will not have a chance to complaint and receive back the spent means.
We also may come across those who are ready to please us with the news that we have already arrived to the place.
These crooks will want to rob us of everything that is necessary for our journeys.

Before you start to follow advices from other fellow travelers, estimate their knowledge, check up trustworthiness of their knowledge,
ask many questions, equip yourself with maps and tools.
But first of all ask yourself a question: “Do I really know where I wish to get in the end of my way?”
Ask yourself many other questions.
We all are unique. There are seven billions of men and women, walking in different directions. In big and small groups.
But all of us will come to one and the same place. We will receive everything equally. And only the paths that we chose during our journeys,
would help us to understand what is being given to us, what is necessary to take and how to use all what is given for the pleasure of ourselves
and for the advantage of those that follow us.
I am a fellow traveler too. If you hear me, that means you have asked me about the way.
Listen, follow, but don’t forget what I have just told you.