Six people were rescued after being sucked out to sea by a rip current along an Oregon beach, officials said.
On Sept. 2, a lifeguard in Cannon Beach went into the water to rescue two kids and four adults while another called for Cannon Beach fire personnel and Seaside Fire and Rescue Surf Teams for more help, according to a post on Facebook by Cannon Beach Lifeguards.
The children were playing in waist-deep water when they were caught by the rip current. The adults who tried to help were also dragged out, Deputy Fire Chief of Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Jason Smith told KOIN.
Three more lifeguards and three surfers entered the water to find the group while a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and two jet skis were deployed, officials said.
There were “about 50 to 100 yards of distance from the first person to the last,” Smith told KOIN.
The group was rescued and brought back to shore where they were evaluated by medical personnel, officials said.
One lifeguard was treated for a minor injury, the release said.
Cannon Beach Lifeguards urge the public to be “very careful around the water” as “jet skis may not be able to be deployed for safety reasons which will delay any rescue attempts,” according to a Sept. 3 Facebook post.
Cannon Beach is about 80 miles northwest of Portland.
What is a rip current?
Rip currents are “powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water” that happen on the coasts of the U.S. and in the Great Lakes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
About 100 people are killed by rip currents each year in the U.S., NOAA reported. Lifeguards rescue thousands of people from rip currents annually.
Experts say people can take steps to stay safe from rip currents, including:
Check the local water conditions before getting in.
Talk to a lifeguard at the beach about the conditions.
Only swim at beaches where lifeguards are present.
Don’t assume great weather means good swimming conditions.