Rip current facts for kids

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Rip current warning signs
Rip current warning signs in four languages

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.

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Rip current Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.