The average speed inside a rip current is 1 to 2 feet per second, which is faster than it may sound. Speeds of up to 8 feet per second have been recorded, which is faster than Olympic Gold Medalist and former UF Swimmer Ryan Lochte can swim!
Rip currents are most threatening when the tide is high and seas are rough. Always look for the red flag warning once getting to the beach, as this indicates high surf and potentially strong currents.
It’s important to remember that rip currents don’t pull you under; they drag you away from shore. Rip currents move swiftly out to sea, so to escape a rip current, stay calm and swim parallel to the shoreline.