Surf conditions dangerous in P.E.I. National Park

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P.E.I. National Park staff issued a warning of high surf conditions Friday. (Submitted by Charlie Ross - image credit)
P.E.I. National Park staff issued a warning of high surf conditions Friday. (Submitted by Charlie Ross - image credit)

Surf conditions in P.E.I. National Park on the Island's North Shore are dangerous and visitors are advised not to enter the water, according to a warning issued by Parks Canada Friday.

Rip currents are a common hazard on P.E.I. beaches. They form when waves break near the shoreline, piling up water between the breaking waves and the beach.

A rip current forms when the water runs back out to sea in a narrow channel. Swimmers can become trapped in the rapidly moving current and get swept offshore.

Parks Canada/Government of P.E.I.
Parks Canada/Government of P.E.I.

The best defence against a rip current is to stay on the beach.

Swimmers who do get caught in a rip current are advised to stay calm, try to attract the attention of someone on shore, and conserve energy — the current is too strong and fighting it will lead to fatigue.

There are two choices if nobody is around to assist: You can tread water and let the waves eventually assist you back to shore, or swim parallel to the shore to get out of the current.