Bay area rip current reminder for Spring Break beach goers

11:58 PM, Mar 16, 2014   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- No pets,  no booze, no fires, no lifeguards. It's a common sign along the Cultural Coast. But when thousands flock to the gulf for Spring Break, and rip currents are running through the water, do beach goers know how to stay safe without help?

"Just remember you're supposed to be swimming parallel with the riptide, otherwise you're gonna be sucked out," said Iowa spring breaker Michael Weston.

He said he went through lifeguard training four years ago.

"I like helpin' people so that's the reason to do it," he said.

But Jacob Flippin, celebrating his second year as a life guard in landlocked Lubbock Texas, said he's never had training like that.

"It was more actual pool safety because we don't have any mass of water in Lubbock at all," he said.

So if you're on Spring Break, or you're like Clearwater resident Kim Vilchez, who "wouldn't know because I haven't experienced it," remember to look for flags.

Red is bad, and always swim with the current, not against it.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, lifeguards rescue tens of thousands of people nation-wide from waters just like those in Clearwater every year because of rip currents.

And with so many beaches lifeguard free, you have to remember to look out for yourself.

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