Increasing Rip Current Awareness Through Education and Research.
Anatomy of a Rip Current.

Most rip currents have a “neck” and a “head” that is often defined by an unusual disturbance or choppiness in the water and by murky discoloration caused by sand and debris. As a result of the current’s speed, sand is forced into suspension often causing a rip current to be associated with “dirty” water.


Sometimes a rip current will lose its characteristic mushroom shape

when strong long shore currents deflect a rip in its prevailing direction.

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