VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – As the summer sizzles the sand under your feet, the Atlantic Ocean is a great place to find relief.

However, in 2022, rip currents reached fourth on the list of weather-related fatalities in the United States.

According to the National Weather Service, there have been 55 drownings this year.

Despite the size of the waves, the risk of rip currents is always prevalent, especially during low tide. They are sneaky and subtle and catch you off-guard.

A rip current is a channel of water that flows away from the coastline, usually from a break in the sandbar and the momentum of the water moving with the waves.

The most important thing to remember when caught in a rip current is to remain calm. Remember, the current is pulling you out to sea. If you try to swim back to the shore, it’s going to be difficult. Instead, swim parallel to the shoreline. That will get you out of the channel of water and allow the waves to bring you in.

Step 1: Remain calm.

Step 2: Swim parallel to the shoreline.

Step 3: We will use the waves to bring us back to shore.

Use these tips if you find yourself in distress out in the water. It’s always best to swim near a lifeguard, and check in with that person.

No matter how experienced a swimmer you may be, the ocean will find a way to win.