Surf settling, rip currents still strong

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Despite surf at the beaches beginning to drop, red flags are flying on Tuesday and the threat for rip currents remains high across the panhandle.

The National Weather Service says rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties, and piers.

Heed the advice of lifeguards, beach patrol flags, and signs.

If you become caught in a rip current, yell for help. Remain calm, do not exhaust yourself, and stay afloat while waiting for help.

If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore, then back toward the beach when possible.

Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current as the strongest of swimmers will tire quickly.

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