Rip current warning issued for P.E.I. National Park beaches

Weather and water conditions could cause rip currents to form along beaches at P.E.I. National Park today, leading Parks Canada to warn swimmers to stay out of the water along the North Shore.

Swimmers told to avoid the water due to dangerous conditions

The image illustrates that to escape from a rip current, you should swim perpendicular to it, and parallel to shore. (Parks Canada/Government of P.E.I.)

Parks Canada has issued a warning for swimmers to stay out of the water along the Island's North Shore because weather and water conditions are suitable for the formation of rip currents along P.E.I. National Park beaches today.

The water temperature and air temperature were both 18 degrees Celsius when the warning was issued just after 10 a.m. Tuesday. 

The risk of drowning increases greatly when rip currents are present. 

The Parks Canada release says the currents form "when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between the breaking waves and the beach. One of the ways this water returns to sea is to form a rip current, a narrow stream of water moving swiftly away from shore."

Swimmers caught up in this stream of water can become exhausted if they try to swim directly back to shore. 

To escape a rip current, stay calm and tread water while calling for help, or swim parallel to shore until you break free of its force. 

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