Officials are warning beach-goers of possible strong riptide currents as the impact of Tropical Storm Bertha makes its way toward Massachusetts.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday warned of the high risk of riptide currents at some Massachusetts beaches. Also Wednesday, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation prohibited swimming at Horseneck Beach in Westport because of rip currents.
South-facing beaches have a high risk of rip currents, while ocean-facing beaches on the outer Cape have a moderate risk. Beaches stretching from Plymouth to the North Shore have a low risk, according to the National Weather Service.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency also urged swimmers to use caution. The agency said Tropical Storm Bertha is passing within 300 miles of the state and that will be close enough to bring large swells and dangerous riptide currents.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing away from shore, according to MEMA. They occur most often at low spots or breaks in a sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as jetties and piers. The agency urged swimmers not to swim against the current, but instead swim parallel to the beach.
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