Wednesday, January 2, 2013

RIPTIDES in Costa Rica - How to Spot them & What to Do if Caught in a Rip Tide

IMPORTANT TO READ • WATCH
BEFORE Going to the Beaches 
in Costa Rica!!!!! 

#1  -  RIPTIDES are a SERIOUS ISSUE 
THROUGHOUT Costa Rica!!!!!

#2 - VERY FEW beaches
in Costa Rica have Lifeguards and I'd question the level of training they get compared to lifeguards say - in California.

Surf•waves in Costa Rica are potentially DANGEROUS - ESPECIALLY the Pacific Ocean (and somewhat on the Caribbean side) - as MY observation is the ocean is a mighty angry broad - hence there are LOTS of areas on the coasts of 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 Riptides are NOT exclusive to areas with bigger surf!!!!


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IDEA to any LIFEGUARDS coming to visit Costa Rica!!
Why not get some Lifeguard friends together (or even just yourself) along with someone to translate in Spanish - 
Gather some old equipment (equipment is RARE in Costa Rica) to DONATE - 

and come VOLUNTEER your time to help train these people better - or even offer to help set up a Volunteer Lifeguard Team.
Heck - do a "Sister-City" type swap situation - where y'all basically agree to "adopt" a team and throughout the year you collect things to bring•gift to the less fortunate locals [as well as things for your trade - everything from beach related clothes/bathing suits, games/toys like frisbees, sunblocks

[heck - maybe you can bring Surfboard donations with you - leave the board you've brought - and help teach local kids how to surf - you might have to start with teaching them how to swim but maybe the hotel where you're staying at will let you do classes in their pool.  It could be positive PR for them as well!])
THEN you might be able to write your trip off your taxes!!


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A POSSIBLE SOLUTION THAT CAN HELP THIS SERIOUS PROBLEM OF PEOPLE DROWNING FROM RIPTIDES IN COSTA RICA
Training is important but MY observation is it's RARE to find lifeguards on the beaches in Costa Rica. 
What is NEEDED #1 are LOTS MORE SIGNS - IN English & Spanish (at least) telling PEOPLE WHAT to do in a Rip Tide!!!  & a few at EVERY entrance•walkway onto EVERY beach in CR!!! 
And make them in Fiberglass or something less desirable to steel to make $$ from.





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GREAT Description of a Rip Tide:
RipCurrents.noaa.gov/overview.shtml


Here is a GREAT VIDEO on what to do:


(I saw this at 
Top10CostaRica.com/10-top-beaches/costa-rica-rip-tides


HOW TO SPOT A RIPTIDE CURRENT

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.
SOURCES: 
ceoe.udel.edu/ripcurrents/characteristics/index.html - this site is GREAT!!
  nj1015.com/rip-tide-warning-issued-for-today
itravel-costarica.com/riptide.php




WHAT TO DO IF CAUGHT IN A RIPTIDE
In a nutshell (but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read

WikiHow.com/Survive-a-Riptide
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
PLEASE
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!!!!!!!


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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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Tips to Enjoy Costa Rica's Beaches

(this is an "official" video yet it does NOT cover the warnings strong enough!!)
youtu.be/3K6-LhzlIYo


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Was this information helpful?  Did it give you ease or help bring people to you or at least become aware of you?
I welcome you to show your appreciation by making a
DONATION
to help keep this blog alive (since it's the only form of income I have coming in at the moment).
Go to the TOP RIGHT CORNER of the blog and you can send whatEVER you'd like via PayPal sent to  LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com 

or email us for instructions to do it via Banco Nacional, Bank of America - or with a MasterCard Debit Card with a U.S. zip code.
ANY amount would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!



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PLEASE "Share" this link with EVERYONE you know that going to the beach!!
LivingLifeInCostaRica.blogspot.com/2013/01/riptides-cr.html
.

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