Hurricane Earl provides rip current risk

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Due to category three Hurricane Earl and it's Tropical Storm counterpart, Fiona, a significant rip current risk will exist along South Carolina's coastline heading into the holiday weekend.

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The National Weather Service has issued High Surf Advisories along the South Carolina coastline until 6 am Friday. A rip current threat will exist throughout the holiday weekend thanks to Hurricane Earl and Tropical Storm Fiona.

"It's extremely important to remain calm in a rip current situation," says SkyWACH Weather Anchor Justin Kier. "The more you fight, the deadlier the situation becomes."

Rip currents are strong and channeled currents that flow away from the shoreline. The United States Lifeguard Association estimates more than 100 people die each year from rip current related drownings.

If you're caught in a rip current, knowledge may just save your life. First, you should remain calm and not fight the rip current. The National Weather Service recommends that you swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When you're out of the current, swim angular towards the shore.

If you can't escape the current, float calmly and wait until you're out of the current and then swim towards shore. If you're still not able to escape the current, draw attention to yourself by calling for help and waving your arms.

Check out our Tropics WACH page for the latest on hurricane season.