Officials urge Texas beachgoers to avoid swimming this weekend due to high risk of rip currents

The rip currents are due to Hurricane Grace making landfall in Mexico

Photographer Neesy Tompkins captured images of the beach in Port Aransas, Texas on Saturday, May 2, 2020. (TompkinsN2020, Courtesy, Neesy Tompkins/Port Aransas Beaches)

TEXAS – If you’re heading out to a Texas beach this weekend, you may want to think twice about going swimming.

According to KSAT Meteorologist Kaiti Blake, there will be a high risk of deadly rip currents due to Hurricane Grace making landfall in Mexico.

A rip current is a “narrow, fast-moving channel of water that starts near the beach and extends offshore through the line of breaking waves,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

🌴🌊 BEACH FORECAST 🌴🌊 There will be a ❗ high risk ❗ of deadly rip currents along Texas beaches this weekend, thanks to...

Posted by KSAT Meteorologist Kaiti Blake on Friday, August 20, 2021

And, if you plan on visiting Padre Island National Seashore, officials said swimming is definitely not recommended this weekend for beachgoers out of safety precaution.

“Unlike other beaches in the area, there are NO lifeguards at Padre Island National Seashore,” PINS officials said in a statement.

Although Tropical Storm Grace kept her distance, we are still seeing impacts from the storm in the Gulf. As a result,...

Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Friday, August 20, 2021

As of Saturday, PINS officials said due to the high tides and storm surge by Hurricane Grace in the southern Gulf, the beaches will stay temporarily closed.

North and South Beach are closed and officials said beach camping and driving are also not allowed for the time being.

Visitors can still park in the Malaquite Visitor Center lot and explore the beach on foot.

“However, please be aware that if you choose to enter the water, the potential for rip currents remains extremely high,” PINS officials said.

#PlanLikeAParkRanger Alert! UPDATE: 8/21/2021 - 1 pm - Rangers re-evaluated the beach at 12 pm and have determined that...

Posted by Padre Island National Seashore on Saturday, August 21, 2021

If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, PINS officials said you should not try to swim against the current. Instead, swim parallel with the shore until the current weakens.

Then, when you’re able, return to shore. If you can’t escape the current, PINS officials also recommend floating or treading water until the current loses its strength or help arrives.

To learn more about what to do if you’re caught in a rip current, click here.

More on KSAT:

Hurricane Grace makes a mess of Mexico’s Mayan Riviera


About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.