GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Our moment is here! We’ve waited all winter for temperatures to be just right and warm enough to take that beach trip.

People travel from all over to come to visit our beaches, but many aren’t aware of beach hazards that can make or break your trip. One beach hazard we will talk about is rip currents. They are channelized currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches.

Rip currents typically form at breaks in sandbars and near structures such as jetties and piers. Before you go in the water, you should always check the National Weather Service Surf Zone Forecast, know how to swim before you venture in and know what the warning flags mean.

While you are at the beach, be sure to make sure a lifeguard is on duty and never swim alone. A channel of choppy water, a difference in water color, seaweed moving seaward and a break in the incoming wave pattern are all clues that a rip current may be present.

If you are ever caught in a rip current, remember to stay calm, swim at an angle, float and call for help. Another thing you need to know is that rip currents do not pull people under the water, they pull people away from shore.

You are in control of breaking the grip of the rip. Wave, yell and swim parallel. And when in doubt, don’t go out!