It’s Rip Tide Awareness Week—June 3-9, 2007—just in time to help educate millions of summer tourists on how to stay safe in the surf. NOAA is teaming with the National Park Service to present an ongoing educational awareness campaign called “Break the Grip of the Rip.” Rip currents are narrow bands of fast-moving currents that pull swimmers away from the shore. When swimmers panic and attempt to swim back to shore, they remain caught in the pull, get fatigued, and too often drown. About 80 percent of all lifeguard rescues are due to rip currents, which means tens of thousands of swimmers in the U.S. get caught in rip tides every year. About 100 of those swimmers drown each year. What NOAA and the National Park Service want beachgoers to learn is how to identify a rip current and how to swim out of it. If caught in a rip current, don’t panic, swim parallel to the shore, angling in toward the shore as you swim. The rip current will be at an angle and you will swim out of it, making it possible to return to shore. Please, educate yourselves about rip currents before you hit the beach. And share this info with others.