Officials Warn of Dangerous Conditions Along Georgia Coast

Authorities in Georgia issued a warning that beachgoers may encounter hazardous weather the week of June 16th.

The lifeguards at Tybee Island Ocean Rescue have issued a red flag warning on their social media pages because of the dangerously high surf, powerful longshore currents, and rip currents.

According to the NWS Charleston office, ripple currents pose a moderate hazard to coastal waterways in South Carolina and Georgia until Friday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains that rip currents are forceful, narrow channels of water traveling at speeds of up to 8 feet per second, which might capture swimmers and force them into open water.

According to NOAA, swimmers in a state of panic frequently attempt to swim directly to shore in an effort to fight against a rip current, but this puts them in danger of drowning due to exhaustion.

Near the North Beach jetties on Tybee Island, a 20-year-old female swimmer drowned in 2023.

A child was saved from drowning in 2021 at Tybee Island Beach. In 2020, two people drowned in two weeks on Tybee Island.

It is believed that 100 people die each year in America due to rip currents.  

Experts warn that you should never swim against the current. The typical swimmer will not be able to keep up with the flow. When you’re exhausted, you may begin to panic.

Try to keep afloat and scream for help.

Swim parallel to the shore if you can, as rips are very narrow.

Keep an eye out for whitewater and crashing waves if you’re still stuck in a rip.  Whitewater indicates that the water’s depth is shallower, which might enable you to stand up.

Another way to go back to shore is by the whitewater. ‘White is nice, and green is mean’  sums up most rips.

The last option is to let the rip carry you out to the back of the current until it lets you go.