Rip currents are common in the Great Lakes and knowing what a rip current looks like can help save your life.

While summer is winding down, swimmers are still hitting Great Lakes beaches. When talking about water safety, the question always arises — how do you identify a rip current? Rip currents tend to form in sandy beach areas that have exposure to large areas of open water where the wind can generate significant waves over this large distance. In these rip-current-prone areas, you can observe a series of sand bars that run parallel to the shoreline. It is in these areas that water builds up like a dam behind these sandbars as the wind blows waves onto the shore.

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