Rip Current Safety Tips for Siesta Key Beaches

Stay Safe | Understanding Rip Currents

Worried About Potential Rip Currents in Siesta Key? Learn How to Spot Them and Put Your Mind at Ease

How Common Are Rip Currents?

Along the coastlines, rip currents are the most dangerous water conditions that can develop and do develop quite often. The main issue is that you never really know where a rip current will develop. Rip currents are formed during the periods of high surf with strong winds, causing waves to push water onto the beach. As the water ebbs back to the ocean, it will try to find a path that has little to no resistance, often between sandbars. This in turn creates a very strong current that can drag even the strongest swimmers out to sea. 

How to Spot a Rip Current

Spotting a rip current is fairly easy. They are usually a brownish sandy color and appear rough or choppy and fast-moving. Sometimes you will be able to see debris floating quickly out to see and ending in a mushroom-shaped patch of water. Due to the speed of a rip current, waves cannot break within one, meaning you may see waves crashing on either side of the rip current but not in the current itself. 

What to Do If You Get Caught in a Rip Current?

One of the hardest things for people to wrap their heads around is to not panic. When you are caught in a rip current, the worst thing you can do is panic. This causes fatigue which can lead to drowning.


You need to do your best to stay calm, and then you can do one of two things.


The first thing you can do is swim parallel to the shore. In this way, you are trying to escape the current so that you can swim back to shore.


Your other option is to let the current carry you until it stops, at which point you can begin swimming parallel to the shore and then eventually return to the shore.



The important thing to remember is that rip currents do not have an undertow, meaning they won’t ever drag you under the water, giving you the chance to just float along until you reach the head of the current.


We know that rip tides can be scary and that many people have never encountered them before. However, if you follow the steps above, then there is no reason to be afraid. If you are still unsure, then be sure to visit some of the lifeguarded beaches during your visit, where professional eyes keep watch so you don’t have to be too concerned.