Rip currents are fascinating, natural, surf zone phenomena that occur daily on many beaches throughout the world. My colleagues, students, advisors, and I have been studying rip currents for more than 10 years and have performed more than 10 comprehensive field experiments on various beaches throughout the world using different observational techniques and model simulations to improve our understanding and prediction of rip currents. We have written a series of scientific articles describing the intricacies and complexities of rip current behavior using statistical and mathematical equations. These manuscripts are typically published in professional journals, which often do not communicate our results to those who would benefit from the information—the beachgoing public and ocean swimmers. Herein, we summarize our findings to help people of all ages gain a better understanding of currents at the coast.
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