PEI

Rip currents focus of new beach safety campaign

Parks Canada and the P.E.I. government have joined together for a new campaign to warn visitors to Island beaches about the dangers of rip currents.

Initiatives being implemented this weekend

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

Parks Canada and the P.E.I. government have joined together for a new campaign to warn visitors to Island beaches about the dangers of rip currents.

Rip currents occur when heavy surf pushes water up onto the shore and it runs back out to sea in narrow channels. The currents are too strong to swim against, and can quickly sweep people out into deep water.

Last fall, the province and Parks Canada formed a P.E.I. rip current advisory committee to improve safety at Island beaches. The committee developed several initiatives.

  • A new rip current image for signs and pamphlets.
  • Updated signage that meets international signage standards.
  • Adopting the international flag system to report surf conditions.
  • Launching an educational program about ocean hazards for beach goers.

The new image illustrates that because rip currents are too strong to swim against, swimmers should swim parallel to the shore until they are out of the current, and then head for shore.

The new initiatives will be put in place this weekend as lifeguard supervision begins at the national and provincial parks.

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