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A rip current (centre)
 
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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

NounEdit

rip current (plural rip currents)

  1. A strong flow of surface water, away from the shore, that returns water from incoming waves.
    • 1988, John V. Noel, Jr., Knight′s Modern Seamanship, page 515,
      It takes on complicated forms, including longshore currents, which set parallel to the beach, and rip currents, in which water carried shoreward by breaking waves finds its way back to deep water in fast, narrow jets. Longshore and rip current velocities may be as great as 3 knots.
    • 1995, David M. Bush, Living With the Puerto Rico Shore, page 20,
      Second, where longshore currents converge, rip currents form, carrying water and sediment outward, away from shore (fig. 2.6).
    • 1995, University of California at Berkeley (editor), The New Wellness Encyclopedia, page 271,
      A break in the wave pattern or discoloration (usually caused by sand) can help you spot rip currents. It you get caught in one, however, don′t struggle, Swim with it, but angle toward the shore or bank.
    • 2010, Jeanette Foster, Frommer′s Kauai, page 168,
      Be careful in winter, when high surf and rip currents make swimming dangerous.

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