Going to the beach can be an awesome adventure, full of fun and opportunities to make some amazing memories. With how much fun it can be, it can be easy to forget that it can also be dangerous. Part of what makes it dangerous is that some of the dangers are foreign to us, making us curious and inclined to take a closer look.
If you’ve ever gone to a beach, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ve seen waves rolling in. They usually come in either at an angle to shore or parallel to it. That isn’t always how that works though. Have you ever seen square waves? Square waves are a natural phenomenon that can look pretty cool. They happen as a result of two weather systems interacting. When the systems meet at different angles, they can create square waves. While they certainly look interesting, the problem with square waves is that they produce some incredibly powerful riptides that can be dangerous to swimmers and boats alike.
A receding waterline at the beach can allow you to see parts of the beach that you haven’t really seen before in a whole new way. That can prompt many people to go out further onto the newly exposed shore than they normally would. Receding water can be caused by a few things. The one you’re probably most familiar with is a tsunami. In this case, water is being displaced as a massive wave moves across the water and approaches the shore. An inverted storm surge can also cause water to recede. When this happens, pressure changes and strong winds can cause water to recede from the beach.
What You Should Do
So what should you do if you see either of these curious events? If you see square waves, the best thing to do is to get out of the water as quickly as you can and don’t go back in until they return to normal. If you see receding water, avoid the temptation to venture out further onto the beach. Doing so can be deadly. Remember, sooner or later that water is going to return, and it may do so with devastating, even deadly force. Call it a day and leave to higher ground.
It’s totally fine to go to the beach to have a good time. There are always fun things to do at a beach. Just make sure that you’re safe when you visit. If you see something that you aren’t sure about, try to learn about it before you get too close. Better still, get familiar with the potential dangers you could encounter at any given beach before you visit so you’ll be prepared if you encounter any.
Going to the beach? Read this first: Going to the Beach? 3 Indicators That You Probably Shouldn’t Swim There