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The National Weather Service and National Sea Grant Program, in partnership with the United States Lifesaving Association, are working together to raise awareness about the dangers of Rip Currents.

There is a tendency to think that rip currents are mainly a threat along the ocean beaches that surround the United States. However, the beaches of our Great Lakes can harbor a signficant threat of rip currents. On July 4, 2003, this was made clear by the tragic drowning of 7 people on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan due to rip currents.

Rip currents can occur anywhere on the Great Lakes, given the right surf conditions. For the first time, National Weather Service Offices around the Great Lakes will be providing rip current threat information when conditions are favorable for rip current development. Information will be included in the Marine portion of the Hazardous Weather Outlook

Many of the drownings or rescues in the ocean surf are of people vacationing from the midwest who are unfamiliar with the threat that rip currents pose. This education campaign is aimed at everyone who may find themselves enjoying the surf in the Great Lakes, the Gulf Of Mexico, the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean. Rip currents can catch even the most skillful and strongest swimmer off guard. Read these personal stories if you have any doubt of how serious a rip current can be.

Rip Current Information: