BEFORE Going to the Beaches
ESPECIALLY the Pacific Ocean (and somewhat on the Caribbean side) - she's a mighty angry broad - hence there are LOTS of areas around Costa Rica where RipTides are an issue.
Heck, I got caught in one while playing in the waves in Manuel Antonio my first trip to Costa Rica and some miraculous angel surfer dudes appeared out of nowhere and “saved” me!!
NOTE that they are NOT exclusive to areas with bigger surf!!!!
Here is a GREAT VIDEO on what to do:
(I saw this at Top10CostaRica.com/10-top-beaches/costa-rica-rip-tides
A RipTide is a flattening of the surface that happens when the water enters a depression in the ocean floor and rushes out to sea.
Look for a channel of churning or choppy water or an area with a recognizable difference in water color (often it's a brownish-colored water on the surface which is caused by swept-up sand and debris).
Pay attention to any lines of foam, seaweed or debris moving steadily seaward or any breaks in incoming wave patterns.
ceoe.udel.edu/ripcurrents/characteristics/index.html - this site is GREAT!!
WHAT TO DO IF CAUGHT IN A RIPTIDE
In a nutshell (but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read
RipCurrents.noaa.gov for a more complete refresher course)
#1 - STAY CALM and do NOT PANIC!!!
As scary as it seems, #2 do NOT fight/resist it and do NOT try to swim back to shore!!!
Just tread water and let the riptide current take you FURTHER OUT to sea till you don't see the rip.
THEN swim to the SIDE - AROUND the rip -
since most rip tide currents are about on average 100 feet wide/in circumference.
Even if you learned before what to do in a RipTide and THINK you know it all - we ALL react differently and can forget things when in a panic/scary situation - so
do a refresher read on it before going to the ocean
as MANY people - even strong swimmers - die each MONTH around Costa Rica from Rips!!!
88 people died in water accidents in Costa Rica in 2012
(though 3 people are still unaccounted for as of January 2, '13)
NEVER NEVER NEVER SWIM ALONE!!!!!!!
Information on some of the BEST PLACES TO SURF in Costa RIca!LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com/2011/04/best-surf-spots-costa-rica.html
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