The Beaches

South Florida rip current advisory extended again

Stephen Gregorio, 20, rides a wave at Haulover.
Stephen Gregorio, 20, rides a wave at Haulover.
CARL JUSTE / Miami Herald Staff

A rip current advisory issued earlier this week for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties has been extended into Wednesday evening.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Miami-Dade intended to end the warning Monday, but extended it two days because of weather conditions.

According to meteorologist Barry Baxter, the weather service decided to continue the advisory into Wednesday because forecasts show winds higher than 15 knots, which can increase the risk of rip currents.

Baxter said an increase in the number of people rescued by Miami Beach Ocean Rescue also contributed to the decision.

At least 43 people were rescued from rip currents on Monday and Tuesday, said Lt. Dawson MacDonald with Miami Beach Ocean Rescue.

The weather service’s advisory contains instructions for anyone who becomes caught in a rip current. Baxter said some people panic and try to get back to shore as soon as possible. Instead, he recommends remaining calm and swimming parallel to the shore. Once swimmers escape a rip current, they can swim back to the beach.

Meteorologists expect the high rip current threat to drop Thursday and Friday, Baxter said. There may be a moderate risk of rip currents Saturday and Sunday.

“Weather-wise, we are expecting a nice weekend,” he said.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue spokesman Timothy Heiser said 24 people have been rescued since Friday because of the rough waters. He said the number would likely be higher if lifeguards weren’t on the beach warning beachgoers to stay out of the ocean.

“The beach is beautiful, but it is dangerous,” he said.

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