National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


People from throughout the USA and visitors from throughout the world visit surf beaches. A “surf beach” is considered any beach with breaking waves. Anyone who visits a surf beach, whether at the ocean or large bodies of water like the Great Lakes, is exposed to the danger of rip currents. They are the #1 hazard at a surf beach, leading to tens of thousands of rescues by lifeguards and over 100 drowning fatalities every year in the United States.

You can help educate people about how to stay safe at beaches where rip currents form. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Lifesaving Association (USLA) have created this toolkit to support the work of all advocates for beach and ocean safety to help us expand our reach to as many people as possible, so that the number of rescues, injuries, and deaths can be minimized. 

First, we encourage you to learn more about rip currents from two official sources.


Second, we offer a PowerPoint rip current safety presentation you can use to educate civic groups, school assemblies, or any other interested groups. The content is ready to use, so you don’t have to personally be an expert. Notes in the PowerPoint presentation are provided to guide you through your talk using scientifically supported safety information. The presentation is also available in PDF format, with separate speaker notes and through a narrated YouTube version of the presentation.

+Rip Current Safety Presentation

We also offer downloadable signs, brochures, stickers, posters, and other materials that promote rip current safety. They have been carefully designed by experts in the field to provide clear and accurate safety information. You are welcome to use as needed, at no cost, as long as you don’t modify the content.

If you would like to share your story on how rip currents have impacted your life, or the role you play in amplifying NOAA and USLA safety information on rip currents, we’d like to hear from you. You can also read the stories shared with us by others. If you’d like to create or participate in a survivor support network, the USLA has the information you need.

Would you like to see and share videos about rip currents? Great, we offer several here:


Additionally, your organization or foundation can sign up with the National Weather Service to become a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador. This is a great way to ensure you receive up-to-date information and stay in touch with NWS to collaborate on specific outreach initiatives!

With your help, we can maximize the number of people visiting our surf beaches who understand rip currents and can help educate others. In this way, future tragedies may be averted and more people can safely visit our beautiful surf beaches. 

Need help with promoting rip current safety? You can contact the National Weather Service at or United States Lifesaving Association at

Thanks for helping us make our nation’s beaches even safer!