Return to Oceanography Index Page
Rift Currents are created as backwash from waves are channel between sand bars. Waves travel over sand bars and break. The remainder of the wave washes ashore. The water backwashes toward the ocean but cannot travel over the sand bar. This large amount of water is forced to channel between the sand bar. This effect increases current speed and force. These rift currents are often called "RIP" rest in peace currents because many swimmers are often drowned in these currents. If you are caught in one of these currents you can escape if: 1) You ride the current out or 2) You can swim perpendicular to the direction of the current. Never try to swim against the rift current, you will put yourself at great risk!