A Lousiana teen at the age of 19 was swept out to sea off the Georgia coast on Tuesday thanks to a rip current. He was swimming in a shallow area of water on Saint Simons Island at a beach without lifeguards. Likely caused by then-Hurricane Chris swirling several hundred miles off the Southeast coast, the risk for these strong offshore currents of water has been elevated throughout the week.
According to ABC News, “he began screaming in the hope someone would hear him but to no avail, and he was washed out to sea beyond the sight of land.” Trying to swim back to his family, he became no match against the strong force of the water.
Spartaro also told the news organization, “he had no idea he had been out there for 10 hours. He said in order to conserve energy, he would shut his eyes and rest for 20 minutes or so. He laid on his back and floated.”
Nearly 10 hours later, a current carried him back closer to the coastline. Hope began to set in, and he was eventually found on a golf course the following morning. Employees at the course called an ambulance and gave him food and water before help arrived.
This goes to show the daily yet potentially deadly hazard present at every beach everyday. Anyone can be affected by a rip current. The best way to survive one is to not panic and to swim parallel to the coast and eventually swim back in instead of trying to fight the current. Even the best of swimmers aren’t strong or fast enough to swim against a rip current.