Swimmer describes rip current dangers

WESTPORT, MASS. (WPRI)- The waters of Horseneck Beach were churned up Thursday by the effects of Tropical Storm Cristobal. The beach is known for wave height and swells of six to eight feet were expected there.

Swimmers were restricted to knee depth in order to keep everyone safe.

“Once you go out past your waist, you’re jumping over waves and that’s when you can get sucked out. It can pull you out faster than an Olympic swimmer can swim,” said lifeguard Rachel Brown.

Despite the warnings, some beach-goers were all about the waves. Maxwell Bethoney knows the dangers of the ocean all too well. Eight years ago, he was caught in a riptide.

“I was 16 then. I went swimming and got sucked out. I panicked for a little bit and then I was like ‘alright I just need to calm down. I know what to do here’. I just kind of caught my breath and swam diagonally like they tell you to do,” said Bethoney.

Bethoney offered some words of wisdom to swimmers caught in the same scary situation.

“You’re not going to get back panicking. You can’t go straight for the waves and try to fight them. You’ve got to do it gradually,” Bethoney said.

Beach officials say they will continue to monitor surf conditions to decide when wave restrictions should be lifted.

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