Severe weather awarness week in Florida

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All this week we focus our attention on severe weather which impacts Florida each and every year.

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Tuesday's subject is the danger of rip currents. They occur quite frequently along the Suncoast and can kill if you don't know what to do when caught in one.

Usually when cold fronts move through winds increase out of the NW behind them, which forces water on to the beaches causing it to pile up. The excess water finds a way to retreat back to the Gulf and creates a fast moving stream of water between the breaking waves.

Swimmers get caught up in these dangerous streams of water and are carried out away from the shoreline. Some people panic when they are caught in this fast moving current and try and swim back against it toward the beach. This is the worst thing you can do. Swimming upstream can exhaust even the best swimmers. Many people have tired and drowned trying to get back to shore this way.

The best advice is to let the rip current carry you out past the breakers, and then swim parallel to the beach. Once you are out of the current, then safely swim back to land.

Always swim in areas that have lifeguards, and don't swim when rip current advisories are issued for your area.

Visit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=tbw&storyid=97244&source=0

for more information on how to protect you and your family.

Bob Harrigan