Swimmers flock to South Padre Island despite strong rip current
Thu, 30 Jun 2011 03:57:26 GMT —
The crash of strong waves on South Padre Island Wednesday had one group of kids weary of the water.
Because we know that it's dangerous, said one child.
The group TMs concern was not reflected in the waters off Isla Blanca Park. Despite dangerous rip currents, dozens took a chance at swimming in the wild waves.
"I probably went out five yards, and I felt this pull, a very strong pull, said swimmer Gregory Gracia. But I swam back in, because I thought I was going to get pulled out."
On the eve of Tropical Storm Arlene's approach south of the Rio Grande Valley, authorities said rip currents are nothing to play with.
Dan Quandt with the City of South Padre Island said the rip currents may only get worse.
According to Quandt, the worst water conditions are expected Thursday.
"And if you don't know how to handle those, and very few people do, just stay out (of the water), said Quandt.
Quandt told Action 4 News beach patrol will be in full force this holiday weekend watching for swimmers in distress.
"Bottom line it TMs up to each person to kind of watch out for themselves, said Quandt.
Quandt hopes visitors will watch out for others as well, especially little ones who can run out of sight as quick as waves can carry a person out.
At this time, beach access points five and six are closed to the public due to high surf conditions.
It's recommended cars and trucks stay off the beaches through Friday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, rip currents became dangerous Tuesday night and will likely stay that way through the holiday weekend.