(HealthDay News) -- Most beach rescues performed by lifeguards are caused by rip currents -- strong currents that can pull swimmers under, says the American Red Cross.
Rip currents can form in any large open area and can be dangerous.
To escape a rip current, the Red Cross offers advice:
Stay calm and don't fight it.
Either float or swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.
Turn and swim to shore.
If you can't make it to shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
If someone else is caught in a rip current, get help from a lifeguard or call 911 immediately.