Florida spring break beach plans marred by dangerous rip currents, high surf

The rip current danger remains high through Wednesday night for Gulf Coast beaches in Florida and Alabama and on Florida's Atlantic coast.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – Spring break plans on Florida beaches along both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are taking a hit as high surf and life-threatening rip currents create dangerous swimming conditions. 

Strong southeasterly winds bring a high risk of rip currents and rough surf to popular spring break destinations this week. 

Rip current advisories are in effect through Wednesday on the Gulf Coast in Florida and Alabama and the entirety of Florida's east coast and south Georgia

A high rip current risk is forecast across the Gulf Coast beaches in the Panhandle and along the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach coasts. A moderate rip current risk exists near Fort Myers and Naples. 


Rip current advisories on Wednesday.
(FOX Weather)


Rip currents form when waves break near the shoreline, pile up water and form a narrow stream that flows quickly away from shore. These hidden dangers can sweep even strong swimmers away, pulling them into deeper water, leading to fatigue and drowning.

About 22 people are killed each year by rip currents and other rough ocean conditions in Florida, according to NOAA.


On Monday, beaches in Florida's Walton and Bay counties were closed for swimming during double red flags because of the high rip current danger. 

Social media video shows Walton County sheriff’s deputies patrolling Seagrove Beach on Monday, keeping people out of life-threatening surf.