Dangerous surf conditions at P.E.I. National Park have Parks Canada officials warning swimmers to stay out of the water for their own safety.

Of particular concern are rip currents. The strong currents are hazards on P.E.I. beaches and form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between the breaking waves and the beach.

The built-up water must then return to the sea, forming a rip current — a narrow stream of water that moves swiftly away from shore.

Swimmers can become trapped in this outgoing current and swept away from shore.

If swimmers find themselves caught in the current they should remain calm, swim parallel to shore to get out of the rip current, then swim back to shore.

Across North America, an average of 100 people drown each year as a result of rip currents.