Lifeguards are having to extra vigilant this summer in Mallorca. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


It appears that the sea currents are stronger than usual this summer and they are catching a rising number of swimmers by surprise forcing the Spanish government to consider strengthening its emergency protocols for tourists. Over the past few days, five Germans have been rescued after being caught by the currents, according to the emergency services.

Firstly, two men and two women from Germany at Son Bauló beach in the east of the island were swept away by a sudden strong current. A total of four lifeguards rescued them. Then a German tourist was rescued at Sa Canova beach on the north coast. He was also was carried away by a sudden strong current before being rescued.

According to the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, rip currents are commonly mistaken for rip tides. However, they’re different. A rip tide is a type of current that runs with the movement of tidal water through inlets and the mouths of estuaries, embayments and harbors, according to the NOAA.

What to do if you’re caught in a rip current

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First off, don’t panic. Signal to shore for help. Swim parallel to the shore, instead of toward it, until you’re out of the current. NOAA notes that most rip currents are less than 80 feet wide. Once you’re free of the current, turn and swim toward shore.

Alternatively, you can let the current carry you out as you float or tread water until the force weakens. Rip currents usually dissipate beyond the line of breaking waves, NOAA said. Then, once you’re out of the current, swim to shore.

What does it feel like to get caught in a rip current?

It feels like you're being pulled under, but in reality, you're being quickly swept out to sea, the shore becoming smaller and smaller with each second. This is what happens when you find yourself in a rip current—one of the ocean's most common and dangerous phenomena.