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Author Topic: rip currents  (Read 1520 times)

Offline mot

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rip currents
« on: April 01, 2010, 02:46:05 PM »
I thought that this might be a good time to open a thread about rip currents. Seeing as the likely cause for the first ab rescue. The question was asked in the rescue post if anyone had ever been caught in one. I myself have been in a few, and do not find them to be that enjoyable! It will put the fear of god right in you. I saw that matt posted an answer but I thought that perhaps this deserved it's own thread to further examine the rip. I know looking at the swell direction and the shape of the structure that it is running into plays in to rips but I thought more people might have stories and advice in spotting them and how to deal with them. I am by no means a expert diver I only get out 10 or 12 times a year and am always ready to learn more. Let us see where this goes.

tom

Offline Brandon Turknett

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 03:11:00 PM »
this was a good idea tom. though ive never been caught in one yet, i was diving a little spot between stillwater and ocean cove with two of my cousins on a day that was probably to rough for us. we made about 4-5 dives and relized shore was getting a little farther away everytime so i motioned to head back. niether of them were having any fun anyways so it was no big deal to them.
on the way in i looked at them and asked are we moving? they both replied backwards. no sooner i looked back to shore a big wave came in and picked me up. it left my two cousins still kicking behind.this one wave pushed me half way to shore where i was able to swim easily in the rest of the way. when i got to shore i imediatl turned to see where they were. no kuck for them, still kicking in one spot. i started yelling at them and pointing south down the beach. one of them realized what i was saying and started swimming south the other just kept kicking. my cousin that swam south was on the beach within ten minutes, the other one finaly caught a lucky break after fighting it for 45 minutes and that same kinda wave that pushed me in came back and pushed him in also. they were both experienced divers that have just never been in water that rough, even though they both told me they had. we were lucky that day and made it out without help. thinking back we were also stupid for even getting in the water. 
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Offline MATT MATTISON

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 03:11:37 PM »
repost from the other thread.
RIPS are nasty when you get caught in one the best thing to do is swim perpindicular to the beach and you will eventually come out of it. For example my dad and uncle were diving a place called secrets and got caught in a rip it sucked us all the way out past the point at horse shoe no matter how hard or fast you kicked you went backwords did not matter if you had freedive fins normal fins. The best way to avaoid a rip is watch the water for at leat 15 to 20 min befor entering and the other good indector there will be a rip in a cove is when you have water/waves entering and comming in from to diferent directions all that water has to have somewhere to go thus creates a rip. example waves hitting north and the south corners of  the cove the rip will be moving right out of the midle of the cove. hope this helps. Not that I am an expert diver or anything just my 2-cents.
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Offline Dino222

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 03:30:26 PM »
Here's the article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

First rescue an hour into abalone season

By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.


Little more than an hour after abalone season began this morning, a San Francisco man had to be rescued after being swept out to sea along the Mendocino Coast.

“The water's terrible. It's rough and there's zero visibility,” said Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department Chief Danny Hervilla.

At least eight people died last year on the Sonoma and Mendocino County coasts while searching for abalone.

The man had been with a group of about 20 others who had ignored stormy ocean conditions to hunt for abalone south of Mendocino on the first day of the season, which began at daybreak, he said. Some were rock picking and others, including the the man who was rescued, were diving, Hervilla said.

The diver, who's identity was not available, was swept out to sea, probably by a rip current, at about 8 a.m.

A member of the volunteer Mendocino Abalone Watch had been observing the group and went for help. There is no cell phone reception in that area so he flagged down a Highway Patrol officer who radioed for assistance.

Mendocino fire department rescuers were having difficulty launching jet skis into the choppy water, but the man drifted far enough offshore for a Coast Guard boat to pull him aboard, Hervilla said.

The man had been swept more than a half mile from the shore, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Gabriel Tate, who was driving the 47-foot motorized life boat.

Rather than expose the man, who was weak and suffering from hypothermia, to the further stress of a rough boat ride over swells of up to 14 feet, rescuers hoisted him up to a helicopter. He was flown to the Mendocino Coast Hospital for treatment, Tate said.

Tate said he was surprised anyone would dive for abalone in such bad weather.

“We were kind of shocked,” he said.

The others at the shore when the victim was swept away apparently weren't fazed. They continued their hunt for the popular mollusk, Hervilla said.
Dino Spadoni

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 10:40:09 AM »
I actually was caught in a nasty rip  at Ft Ross of all spots.  I had only been diving a couple years at the time, but I was in the water 3 or 4 dozen times a year back then so I had a strong kick. 

I had jumped in at the middle cove, just north of the sandy beach you can drive to.  I decided to swim out to the wash rock that's vizible at low tide (the one wayyyyy out in the center of the cove).  For some reason I thought the wreck was out there somewhere, wrong.  When I got out to the rock I swam past it, like real fast... without kicking.  I was surprized to be heading north, I was used to the current generally dragging me south (huge generalization). 

I began kicking for the north cove, just inside the point (the Northwest Cape I guess it's called).  By now my legs were getting damned tired.   As I got towards the cove I cut it too close to the point.   Now I was headed straight out to see.  I totally should have seen this coming.  All that water heading north and hitting the cove had to go somewhere. 

I just floated along helplessly for a minute till I was clear of the point.  Then I did just what Matt said, kicked like a mofo straight for the rocks just north of the cove.  After I climbed out of the surf a little ways I remember just laying in the rocks sucking wind and cleaning out my shorts.  I didn't dive alone for at least a couple weeks after that (hey, I was 22).

Looking back I should have angled much harding into the cove (perpendicular to the current).  Instead I had swam right with it till it turned into a rip (could have been a R.I.P.)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 02:34:38 PM by Glaucus »

Offline mot

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 02:36:01 PM »
I have been caught in a few. There is a place above anchor bay that I used to dive. This spot has a rocky reef from the shore running to the west. In front and to the north there is a bunch of rocks that may as well be a reef also. There is a opening facing northward. when the swell is coming from the north is fills up this little bay and has to go somewhere. Can you say rip. I have had to swim through it a few times and found that just a few yards of to one side and it seem to go away. The key was going away from the shore. once you swam towards the east west reef you could ride the current right in to the beach. It is weird whenever I get caught up in a rip I notice that there is a lot of silt moving under me and it looks like you are moving forward but if you look at a couple of points on shore it doesn't take long to figure out that you are going backwards! :confused1: I have grabbed kelp and rested then swim to the next bunch and repeat until I worked my way free. It sure tires you out though. I always dive with a buddy and I always have my tube close. I figure you always have that.

Offline JASON HOLLIDAY

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 03:52:22 PM »
  We where in a small rip the day of the cleanup at secrets. It was on the slower end of the rips but you could feel the drag and it was a fite to get in to shore. Not fun.

  On one other occasion up at the point arena lighthouse in the back cove me and my brother where talking to a rookie buddy of ours and didnt realize we where sucked out about 150' further than we had planned in less than 2 mins. The rookie buddy of ours freaked out and wouldn't listen when we tried to coach him in and we had to drag him to shore. He no longer dives and blames it all on that occasion. That day was when I learned the warning signs of the rip and to always pay attention to the shore line. It was deffinately an enlightening experiance I will not forget...
Jason Holliday
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Offline Stacy Stephenson

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2010, 06:33:19 PM »
repost from the other thread.
RIPS are nasty when you get caught in one the best thing to do is swim perpindicular to the beach and you will eventually come out of it. For example my dad and uncle were diving a place called secrets and got caught in a rip it sucked us all the way out past the point at horse shoe no matter how hard or fast you kicked you went backwords did not matter if you had freedive fins normal fins. The best way to avaoid a rip is watch the water for at leat 15 to 20 min befor entering and the other good indector there will be a rip in a cove is when you have water/waves entering and comming in from to diferent directions all that water has to have somewhere to go thus creates a rip. example waves hitting north and the south corners of  the cove the rip will be moving right out of the midle of the cove. hope this helps. Not that I am an expert diver or anything just my 2-cents.
For someone who's been diving for as long as you , I consider you an expert.
Stacy Stephenson
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Offline MATT MATTISON

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2010, 09:07:57 PM »
repost from the other thread.
RIPS are nasty when you get caught in one the best thing to do is swim perpindicular to the beach and you will eventually come out of it. For example my dad and uncle were diving a place called secrets and got caught in a rip it sucked us all the way out past the point at horse shoe no matter how hard or fast you kicked you went backwords did not matter if you had freedive fins normal fins. The best way to avaoid a rip is watch the water for at leat 15 to 20 min befor entering and the other good indector there will be a rip in a cove is when you have water/waves entering and comming in from to diferent directions all that water has to have somewhere to go thus creates a rip. example waves hitting north and the south corners of  the cove the rip will be moving right out of the midle of the cove. hope this helps. Not that I am an expert diver or anything just my 2-cents.
For someone who's been diving for as long as you , I consider you an expert.

I am not but thanks stacy
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Offline mot

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 06:28:05 PM »
One rough day we were looking for a place to dive and were told to dive north fisk mill. I think the swell was directly west. When I got in the water and started to kick out I found myself easily going out, too easily! I stopped and hung out for a while and tried to figure out how the water was and found that I was getting pulled out I tried to make a couple of dives and found not many abs and a little deep because vis was bad. That was the day that I used kelp to help me get back. When I got to the top of the bluff I was talking to some other divers and they told me that If I had moved closer to the shore on the north edge of the bay the rip would have been much less or not there. Has anyone else had this experience there? North fisk is one of those places they say you can almost always dive isn't it?

Offline Brandon Turknett

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 09:10:02 PM »
i personaly have not seen that there. ive dove there a few times when it was about 6-8 everywhere else.we got in and out no problem. thats the funny thing about the ocean, you never know what shes gonna do.you can watch it and try and be safe but all it takes is a little wind or have a ground swell work in while your diving. alot of things can change your conditions in a blink of an eye or breath through a snorkle.all you can do is stay aware and use your best judgement.
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Offline mot

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 10:49:18 PM »
I was surfing around the net and found this site. there is some good factual information to check out.
http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov

Offline Fis_Hunter

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2010, 06:30:58 PM »
If you are diving a cove take a look before you get in if waves are striking (pumping in) on one side the water will be moving out on the other.  Or if the waves are hitting straight on as matt said it will be pumping out in the middle.  If you are diving the mouth of a bay you can also get a outgoing current at the mouth if it is necked down by rocks.  I got stuck in one for about an hour north of Fort Bragg.  I swam out past the mouth and could not get back in until the tide went slack.

If you are diving from a beach look for areas that the water is pushing up if it all appears to be going back out from the same spot there will be a rip there.  you can usualy see one from a beach because the water in the rip looks muddy.  If you swim just north or south of the rip there will usualy be curent pulling you toward shore.

I have used the rip created by the Navaro river to drag me out through the surf so I could swim north and dive the rocks.  It was one of the easyest surf entries I have ever done.

The most cool rip I have been in was in hawaii off Oaho Pipeline.  There is a power plant that has two large pipes about 12' which dump hot water out to sea. If you swim into the rip created you are pushed out to sea realy fast. It looked kind of like Nemo getting sucked into the curent on little nemo. fish would dart into it and tumbel away.  It looked cook so I gave it a shot it jetted me out about 100 yards very fast. There was a current running back in right next to it. So I started swiming into it and tumbeling over and over. It was so cool I did it like ten times.
Myrel C. Willeford

Offline Brandon Turknett

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Re: rip currents
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 06:38:03 PM »
nice little wash machine effect, i like it.
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