Swimming is something we all love to do in the summer! But lately, there have been so many warnings. Yesterday, it was about rising fecal bacteria levels at Maine beaches, and today, it's riptides.

(Read here: Swimmers Warned About Fecal Bacteria in Maine Beaches)

According to WGME 13, Old Orchard Beach lifeguards acted quickly to save four children from the dangerous riptides on Friday night. Fire and EMS were called, but thanks to how quickly the lifeguards responded, the kids are safe.

Firefighters are reporting that rip currents are very strong at the moment.

How do you handle riptides? It's definitely a scary thought, knowing there's a chance you could get caught in one. But if you do, it's important to be prepared.
Here are some tips from Maine.gov to help you stay aware of riptide dangers and know what to do if you get caught in one. First and foremost, you should learn to swim, and when you do enjoy a dip, it's safer to be at a lifeguard protected beach.
If you get caught in a riptide:
  • Stay as calm as you can to save your energy.
  • NEVER swim against the current.
  • Think of the riptide like it's a treadmill that will never stop or slow down, but what you need to do is step off to the side of it.
  • Swim parallel to the shore to get away from the current, then angle back towards the beach.
  • If you can't swim out, float or tread water calmly until you're out of the current, then swim to shore.
  • If you still can't reach shore, wave your arm and call for help to draw attention

The fire captain told WGME, 

The beach is kind of weird this year, lots of sandbars, storms, riptides and you get a kid that weighs 20-40, it’ll take them out like an express,” OOB Fire and Rescue Captain Norman Gendron said. “If they don’t know how to swim, you have to swim lateral. Going to be a tough summer for the lifeguards.

It's always a good reminder that even though your want to enjoy your day and have fun, you must still stay vigilant for yourself and your family this summer at Maine beaches.

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