Beach patrol puts out red flags

The Cameron County Beach Patrol is urging beachgoers to pay attention to red-flag conditions during Spring Break on South Padre Island.

Red-flag conditions, triggered by an increased possibility of rip currents, are expected “through the start of Texas Week,” according to a social media post from the lifeguard group.

A rip current is a strong current flowing quickly away from the beach toward deeper waters and poses a hazard to swimmers.

The U.S. National Weather Service in Brownsville reported that a moderate risk of rip currents Friday on the Island and Boca Chica beaches was “due to increasing swell and surf heights.”

The NWS suggests the following tips for swimmers caught in a rip current:

>> Don’t fight the current;

>> Swim even — parallel — with the shore until the current weakens, and then swim to shore;

>> If you cannot escape the current, float or tread water;

>> Call out or wave for assistance;

>> Never swim alone.

“Be safe during this highly populated time and never mix alcohol and other drugs with swimming,” the Cameron County Beach Patrol said.