Rip currents are formed when water rushes out in a narrow path, like rivers through the surf. Often mistakenly called undertows, these powerful currents pull even experienced swimmers away from shore, but not under the water. Rip currents may form in breaks in near shore sandbars. They are rarely more than 30 feet wide, but they can extend 1,000 feet offshore, reach 100 feet in width and travel up to 3 mph. Some are present a few hours; others are permanent. Rip currents are more prevalent after storms.
Before you head to the beach, check the tide tables and solunar tables for Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida. You can get the forecast for high tides, low tides, hours of maximum fish activity, weather conditions and other useful information at tides4fishing.com.
Please use good judgement and obey the lifeguards and the flag warning system.