COCOA BEACH, Florida - The National Weather Service in Melbourne has issued a Rip Current and Beach Hazards Statement for all of Central Florida's coastal counties that will remain in effect through Easter Sunday evening (April 16, 2017).
Building surf will make entering the ocean dangerous today. Rip currents will be strongest during the afternoon and evening hours.
The strong surf can knock you down or push you off a sandbar and into deeper water, making you susceptible to being pulled out by a rip current.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as jetties and piers. Heed the advice of lifeguards, beach patrol flags, and signs.
Always swim near a lifeguard. Remain calm if you are caught in a rip current. Don`t fight the current. Instead, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If you are unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help. If you are tired, float or tread water until you are out of the rip current.
Top image: Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards search for a missing swimmer caught in a rip current. Credit: BCFR