Many of us will be spending time at the beach this summer. One pf the dangers in the surf is riptides. They are currents that form at the beach and flow away from the beach. They are caused by multiple factors and can appear suddenly.
The danger is that if one is caught in a riptide the current will sweep you away from the beach. And since it is flowing outwards trying to swim back to the beach against it is fruitless.
So, to get out of it one should swim parallel to the beach for say 20 yards and then turn toward the beach. Riptides are normally less than 30 yards wide. So, by swimming parallel to the beach one does not fight the current and can safely turn towards the beach outside of the riptide.