Updated: Jun 30
Destin, Florida is a popular beach destination known for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. However, as with any beach, there are risks associated with swimming in the ocean, including rip currents. In this blog post, we'll discuss what rip currents are and how beachgoers can stay safe while swimming in Destin.
What is a Rip Current?
Rip currents, according to South Walton Fire District, are powerful channels of water that flow away from the shore. They can occur at any beach with breaking waves, and they can be especially strong and dangerous in areas where there are jetties or piers. They can typically be seen as deeper, darker areas of swirling water where white caps are breaking in different directions. This is because the deeper water allows incoming swell to rush back out toward the open waters. Rip currents are responsible for a majority of ocean-related drownings each year, so it's important to understand what they are and how to stay safe if you're caught in one.
How Do I Know If There Is A Rip?
In Destin, the local authorities use a colored flag system to inform beachgoers about current rip current conditions. A green flag means the water is calm and there are no major hazards. A yellow flag means there is a moderate risk of rip currents, and swimmers should exercise caution when entering the water. A red flag means there is a high risk of rip currents, and a double red flag means that beachgoers should avoid entering the water altogether. Anyone entering the water during a double red flag is subject to a hefty fine or imprisonment.
Ask the Experts :)
It's important to pay attention to the flag system and adhere to the warnings. If you're unsure about the conditions, ask a lifeguard for more information. It's always better to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to the ocean.
Surviving a Rip Current.
If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, there are several things you can do to stay safe. First, try to remain calm and conserve your energy. Don't try to fight against the current, as it will only tire you out. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you're out of the current, then swim back towards the beach. If you're unable to swim out of the current, float on your back and wait for help. Remember, rip currents are dangerous but can be survived with proper knowledge and preparation.
In conclusion, rip currents pose a significant risk to beachgoers in Destin and other coastal areas. However, by paying attention to the colored flag system and being aware of the risks, you can stay safe while enjoying the beautiful beaches of this Florida destination. Remember to always swim near a lifeguard, never swim alone, and stay informed about the current conditions before entering the water. We hope you enjoy your trip to the beach, and will always offer beachgoers a soft and shady place to rest while visiting. If you wish to avoid going in the water, but need a place to sit and watch - we have you covered.