Strong winds and high surf have sounded the alarm for the National Weather Service to warn Manatee and Sarasota counties of a high rip tide risk.
The service issued the coastal hazard warning for Tuesday morning through early Wednesday, and includes Pinellas and Charlotte counties.
A rip current, not to be mistaken for a rip tide, is a powerful narrow current that pulls water out from shore. They typically occur at breaks in sandbars or near groins or piers.
If you’re caught in a rip current, the service advised swimmers to yell, stay afloat and conserve energy. Swim parallel to the beach, not against the current, until it’s safe to reach shore.