Rip Current

A strong surface current flowing seaward from the shore. It usually appears as a visible band of agitated water and is the return movement of water piled up on the shore by incoming waves and winds. With the seaward movement concentrated in a limited band its velocity is somewhat accumulated. A rip consists of three parts: the feeder currents flowing parallel to the shore inside the breakers; the neck, there the feeder currents converge and flow through the breakers in a narrow band or "rip"; and the head of rip, where the current widens and slackens outside of the breaker line. A rip current is often miscalled a rip tide.