How I Survived a Rip Current! - My Family Travels


    My Vacation to Kauai, Hawaii was quite an exciting experience. I learned many lessons about life throughout the trip.  I was in Hawaii for exactly one week. I flew into Lihue, Kauai on July 2nd and left on the 9th.  In between the 2nd and the 9th, a very scary, life-changing thing happened to me.
    On the fourth day in Kauai, my family and I were driving and we saw that Kealia Beach had huge waves.  We decided to stop there to try out our new boogie boards.  We went to a part of the beach where the waves were the biggest, and nobody was there. My brother and I took our boogie boards out and rode the big waves for about five minutes and then I went pretty far out where the big waves were, right as my brother rode a wave in. “Get out of the water!”
    My dad suddenly started to yell, so all my brother had to do was stand up and walk onto the shore, compared to me, who had to ride a wave to get in. I noticed that no waves were breaking where I was, so I tried to paddle in.  It started to feel as if I wasn’t getting closer to the shore.  I paddled harder and harder and I wasn’t moving forward!
    I then realized that I was caught in a rip current!  I remember reading information about rip currents in a book one time, and I remember it always said to stay calm and swim to the side. Swimming to the side was difficult, but possible, but staying calm seemed to be impossible.
    I was screaming and crying for help to my parents who were on the shore. If they tried to come help they would end up being in the rip current too.  My dad went into the water where he could stand which was as close as he could come to me, and I paddled on the boogie board faster and harder then I had ever paddled before.
    After swimming far enough to the side, what seemed like an eternity, I eventually reached my dad who took my hand and pulled me out of the water onto shore.  I was panting, scared, and thankful for surviving that horrible moment.
    I went and sat in our rent-a-car and my mom came and sat next to me. I asked her while half crying, “How did dad know there was a rip current?” and she told me that there were signs that we didn’t see while walking toward the beach that said, “NO swimming – Strong Currents”.  That answered the question why nobody else was swimming there.
    The lessons that I learned after almost drowning by a rip current were that you should only swim where other people are swimming and or where lifeguards are stationed, follow the directions about staying calm and swimming to the side, and always stay with your floatation device if you have one.
    That incident was very scary during my vacation in Hawaii, but that didn’t stop me from taking surfing lessons the next day.


If in doubt don’t go out!

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