207. Beach Safety

207. Beach Safety: Dangerous Rip Currents (1 minute)
Eric Abma, Lifeguard 

Hi! My name is Eric Abma and I am a lifeguard for California State Parks. I want you to be safe on your visit to Fort Ord Dune State Park. We have many safety issues here from the crumbling cliffs, to large surf, frigid water, and strong rip currents.

First of all I want to stress that swimming is not recommended at Fort Ord Beach. The surf and rip currents are so powerful that; when Fort Ord was an active military base its soldiers were forbidden from going into these treacherous waters.

What is a Rip current you ask??? Rip currents are river like channels of water returning to the ocean, and are formed by the water that is brought to the beach by breaking waves. Rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.

If you are caught in a rip current; first of all try and remain calm, then swim parallel to the beach to get out of the current, then back to shore. If you cannot escape; signal for assistance by calling or waving for help, then conserve your energy by floating or treading water. State Park lifeguards will come and rescue you and are trained for these types of water emergencies.