Lifeguards warn of strong rip currents this weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first tropical depression, or storm, of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to form near the Bahamas this weekend.

While it’s not expected dump much if any rain to our coast, dangerous rip currents are expected.

The National Weather Service is reporting a high risk for rip currents Friday. That’s for all of our local beaches from Nassau down to Flagler.

With the system developing near the Bahamas, the risk of rip currents is expected to remain high throughout the weekend.

MORE ONLINE: Surf forecast, live beachcam

Lifeguards say to keep yourself safe, check beach conditions before you go, and then when you arrive, look for the color of warning signs and flags.

Green conditions indicate calm currents. Yellow is slightly more dangerous conditions but people can still be in the water. Red means high surf, and or strong currents. If you see two red flags, don’t go in.

If there's ever any question as to what the conditions of the water are, have a conversation with the lifeguard about the potential threats and the direction of the currents.

If you are swimming and feel you are being pulled out to sea in a rip current, do these three things:

  1. Don't panic.
  2. Swim-up or down the beach. You can even float.
  3. Once you don’t feel the pull of the rip current, swim normally back to shore.

You can keep yourself the safest if you choose to swim near the lifeguards. According to the US lifesaving association, the chances of drowning at a beach with lifeguards are 1 in 18 million.

For anyone going to the beach, it’s important to remember, while restrictions and time limits have been lifted, social distancing guidelines are still in place.

You can expect to see more patrols out watching for compliance with the guidelines.

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