GALVESTON -The National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazard Statement for dangerous rip currents present on Galveston Island beaches.
“Most of the weekend we've been flying a red flag. Yesterday morning we had yellow for a little while and went back to red in the afternoon. And red flag for us means we have very strong surf we usually have really strong rip currents during that time. We recommend that adults that are good swimmers go no deeper than their waist and kids and non-swimmers stay out of the water,” Chief Peter Davis with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol said.
Eighty percent of the rescue calls in Galveston come from rip currents, which are narrow currents in the surf zone that move quickly away from shore. The can move up to 5 miles per hour, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer.
Strong currents can be deadly. Like in the death of Brandy Mosley in June. Mosley was swept under the water after saving her 4 year old son who'd been knocked down by a wave and was struggling to find his footing.
If you get caught in a rip current, your instincts might tell you to struggle to swim to shore. But your instincts are wrong.
“The scenario is they'll choke or they'll tire quickly and they won't know what to do. All you have to do if you're ever caught in a rip current is relax and float. If you just go with the flow, it'll take you out, it'll take you one way or another, with the lateral or the longshore current and then you'll come back to shore being pushed by waves,” Davis said.
The beach patrol is on high alert, bringing in additional lifeguards and patrols throughout the holiday.
Galveston Island can be a lot of fun for the 4th of July, but if you're not careful and don't follow directions, you're putting you or your loved ones at risk.