Friday, July 31, 2015

A Day at the Beach. Have Fun But Safety First. Rip Currents & Sharks

I love the ocean.  I can sit and watch the water for hours mesmerized by the beauty and strength of the movement of the waves.  I have been swimming in the ocean since I was a little girl.  I can remember many days jumping the waves in Ocean City Maryland.  I love the feel of the salt water on my skin.
This summer there have been some disturbing events on the coast of NC.  Shark attacks and rip currents top the list.  As we all know there are risks to everything.  Just driving down the street or walking down a sidewalk can hold unforeseen risks.  For example, an elderly man in Raleigh was sitting on his front porch minding his own business and was attacked by a, possibly rabid, fox last week.  We can take every precaution and still be unable to avoid a tragedy.  What we can do is arm ourselves with knowledge and do our best to avoid these scary events.
"Rip Currents"
I spent a few nights in Emerald Isle last week.  The big questions was, "should I go in the water?".
One evening at high tide we stood with our feet in the water.  We could feel the strong pull of the water and see the sudden drop off right in front of us.  As much as I wanted to get in the water it just did not feel safe so we did not.  The next day during low tide it was a different story.  We walked out to our knees, there was not an obvious drop off as there was the night before and the tug of the current did not seem as strong so we went for it.  We went out and spent time jumping and diving in the waves.  What fun!
Here is advice on Rip Currents from Semper Safe.....

"Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore."  
"Rip currents are the number-one concern for beach lifeguards"
How to Identify Rip Currents

Look for any of these clues:

A channel of churning, choppy water
An area having a notable difference in water color
A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward 
A break in the incoming wave pattern 
They give us these warnings but also let us know rip currents can be difficult to identify.


"Sharks"
Lucky for me we did not see any sharks while at the beach, but you know they are out there. With that in mind I have to share a video...."The Sharks House"

Beach at Emerald Isle NC

Tips from Visit NC Beach Safety

Chances of encountering a shark in North Carolina waters are very low. To further reduce your risk, consider the following tips from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: 
  • Do not enter the water or swim near a pier, as they attract baitfish that sharks feed on and are a very likely place for sharks to swim if they come close to shore. 
  • Avoid waters being used by sport or commercial fishermen, especially if there are signs of baitfish or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such action. 
  • Always stay in groups. Sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual. 
  • Avoid being in the water during dusk, darkness or twilight hours. This is when sharks are most active and have a sensory advantage. 
  • Wearing shiny jewelry in the water is discouraged because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales. 
  • Avoid wearing brightly colored contrasting clothing in the water. Sharks see contrast particularly well. 
  • Refrain from excess splashing to minimize your risk. 
  • Exercise caution when swimming between sandbars or near steep drop-offs. These are favorite hangouts for sharks. 
  • Do not enter the water if bleeding. A shark’s sense of smell is acute. 










    Keeping all of the information in mind don't let fear deter you from enjoying your life.  Use caution but have fun.  I suggest you visit Emerald Isle NC and take a refreshing dip in the ocean.
    Get out and travel!
    KathieyV:-)

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