For Immediate Release - July 04, 2014

SWIMMERS URGED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS DUE TO POSSIBLE RIPTIDES

FRAMINGHAM, MA – Officials are cautioning swimmers to stay aware of surf conditions this weekend even as the projected path of Hurricane Arthur is predicted to pass 100 miles east of Massachusetts.  Even at that distance, large swells are expected to produce dangerous rip tide conditions along area beaches. Swimmers must take precautions given the potential high seas and strong currents expected to be associated with this event.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) offers these tips for those around the water this weekend.

  • Always check surf conditions.
  • Swimmers should never swim alone, preferably on beaches with lifeguards. If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Always be aware of the dangers of rip currents. Remember to never swim against the current, but parallel to the beach to an area where the current is weaker and you can safely return to shore. If you cannot escape the current, float or tread water.  If you need help, call or wave for assistance.
  • National Weather Service (NWS) offers information on their website: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/index.shtml.
  • NWS rip current “tips” page: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/tips.shtml.
  • Never turn your back to the ocean, as you may be swept off coastal bluffs or tide pool areas and into the water by waves that can come without warning.
  • Be careful standing on seawalls while watching the surf.

MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover.

For additional information about MEMA, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Also, follow MEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; and YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA.

Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app (called Ping4Alerts!) onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.