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Rip Current Awareness Products Available from Sea Grant


Contact: Katie Mosher, 919/515-9069,

Posted July 10, 2013


Rip currents have been cited in recent drownings. Many beachgoers underestimate the power of rip currents, where water can move faster than Olympic swimmers.

Relatively narrow channels, rip currents can happen any time of day, and often are extremely difficult to predict. In addition, their frequency often increases ahead of tropical storms. The best escape route is to swim parallel to the shoreline, or perpendicular to the current.

In a joint project, the National Weather Service, the U.S. Lifesaving Association and the national Sea Grant network developed warning products for rip currents. North Carolina Sea Grant representatives, along with NWS officials and lifeguards in North Carolina, continue to serve on nationwide committees to improve daily rip current outlooks and safety messages.

Various “Break the Grip of the Rip” products are available from North Carolina Sea Grant.

Refrigerator magnet, 5 x 7 inches

$1 (25% discount for orders of 25 or more)

Video, 7 minutes


Metal sign, 12 x 18 inches

$25 (25% discount for orders of 10 or more)

Brochure, folds to 3.5 x 8 .5 inches

Free for limited quantities while supplies last. (Large orders may require a new printing.)

We are now testing magnetic signs  (12 x 18 inches) for vehicles and other metal attachments. When ordered in bulk, we anticipate the cost to be about the same as metal signs. To order products from North Carolina Sea Grant, call 919/515-2454.

The national “Break the Grip of the Rip” product files may be downloaded for free from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website: They may be printed as posters, signs or brochures.

The national site also includes links to coastal offices that include rip current outlooks in surf zone forecasts.

The Summer 2013 issue of Coastwatch magazine includes a story on rip current safety and a poster inside the back cover. Limited copies may be available.  Send requests to


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