Exercise caution in coastal waters as Tropical Storm Barry makes landfall

As Tropical Storm Barry makes its way to the Louisiana coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expect we will see high surf on our beaches and increased wave action could lead to potential rip currents.

In a video created by NOAA, scientists put dye in the water to show how rip currents can happen at any time, most likely nearer to the shore in low spots or breakpoints in a sandbar.

There is also an interactive animation of a person being dragged out from shore by a rip current. In it, the person remains calm, not fighting the current. When he finally gets out, he starts to swim parallel to the shore. For those who can not escape, NOAA recommends floating or treading water, along with calling for help. But, do not fight the current.

Late last night, NOAA issued a high surf advisory and rip current risk. The announcement affects coastal Lee and Charlotte counties. High surf can lead to beach erosion and dangerous swimming conditions.

NOAA is advising people if they do decide to go out in the water, to swim near a lifeguard and always swim with a buddy. A high surf advisory and rip current are in effect until Sunday morning.

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