When it comes to rip currents, should you swim parallel to shore, or float until help arrives?

Ocean waves (Photo: WWAY)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — When it comes to rip currents, swim parallel to shore, or float until help arrives?

Thursday, insurance commissioner Mike Causey said people should float.

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We spoke with Sam Proffitt with Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue to find out more.

He said the most important thing is to not panic if you find yourself getting pulled in.

He said you should swim parallel to the shoreline, however, if you are a particularly strong swimmer and know that a lifeguard is on the way, floating on your back is a safe bet.

Proffitt said if there’s no lifeguard on duty, he recommends avoiding the water.

“My advice to everyone is absolutely not — don’t go swimming if there’s no life guards around,” Proffitt explained. “It’s just an unnecessary danger. You come out here you wanna enjoy yourself have a good time at the beach with your family. There’s a lot of great things you can do at Wrightsville Beach or any beach. Going in the ocean alone when it’s not guarded is not a good idea.”

Proffitt also advised to bring a flotation device into the water, like a boogie or surf board to grip to — whether there is a lifeguard on duty or not.