Watch for red flags, rip current risks as thousands of visitors descend on local beaches for Spring Break


“The phrase we like to use is rough seas don’t go past your knees, especially true if it is a red flag or yellow flag day.”

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Just this week in Galveston, Texas, the bodies of twin brothers who did not know how to swim were recovered after strong current pulled them away after a trip to the beach with their family.

The incident serves as reminder to Coastal Bend residents of the dangerous power rip currents have, and how one local group is trying to spearhead that awareness. 

Sara Carney with the Je’sani Smith Foundation said that knowing the dangers rip current pose can help beachgoers stay safe this Spring Break. 

“For all the people who are coming to visit our beaches out of town I really want them to know prevention is key when it comes to beach safety,” she said.

Carney said that it’s important to stay calm when dealing with rip currents. 

“If you happen to get caught up in a rip current, what you want to do is float and not fight,” she said. 

Rip currents are known to happen closer to piers and jetties and can be spotted from afar, often seeing a break in the waves. 

Je’sani Smith Foundation founder Kiwana Denson created the organization in honor of her son who was swept away on Padre Island back in April of 2019.

“Beach safety impacts us all,” Carney said.

It’s that awareness that foundation members like Carney said is so important in recognizing the warning signs.

“It is important to remember he was athletic, strong swimmer unfortunately those rip currents are so strong,” she said. 

Carney said that picking an area to swim near a lifeguard tower can make all the difference, as well as using the buddy system.

“The phrase we like to use is rough seas don’t go past your knees, especially true if its a red flag or yellow flag day,” she said.

Before heading to the beach, be sure to check conditions daily as a precautionary measure.

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