MIAMI (CBS4) – If you’re thinking about playing hooky Tuesday from work so you can hit the beach, don’t plan on going in the water.
State emergency management officials are urging beachgoers along Florida’s east coast to beware of dangerous rip currents this week. Officials say there is a high risk of rip currents from Volusia County to Miami-Dade County through Tuesday.
A rip current is a narrow powerful current which runs perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean. These currents may extend 200 to 2,500 feet lengthwise, but they are typically less than 30 feet wide. Rip currents can often move at more than 5 miles per hour or faster.
Beach goers are urged, whenever possible, to swim at a lifeguard-protected beach. If unsure of what the flags mean, ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. Also stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist alongside these structures.