Rip current facts for kids
A rip current is a strong surface flow of water returning seaward from near the shore (not to be confused with an undertow). It is often mistakenly called a "rip tide" or "riptide", though the occurrence is not related to the tides. Colloquially a rip current is known simply as a rip. Although rip currents would exist even without the tides, tides can make an existing rip much more dangerous (especially low tide). Typical flow is at 0.5 meters per second (1-2 feet per second), and can be as fast as 2.5 meters per second (8 feet per second). Rip currents can move to different locations on a beach break, up to tens of metres (a few hundred feet) a day. They can happen at any beach with breaking waves, including the world's oceans, seas, and large lakes such as the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States.
Images for kids
Rip current warning signs in English and Spanish at Mission Beach, San Diego, California
Rip current Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.