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Rip-current advisory issued for LI beaches

A high rip-current risk advisory remains in effect for Long Island's ocean beaches through 8 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

High winds and other residual effects from Friday's storm prompted the warning.

"We had on shore winds yesterday and now even though they've since weakened, there's a lag effect," said Mike Layer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from the shore.

The National Weather Service recommends the following safety precautions:

* Swim at lifeguard-protected beaches.

* Never swim alone.

* Learn how to swim in the surf. It's not the same as swimming in a pool or lake.

* Be cautious at all times. If in doubt, don't go out.

* Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water.

* Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties, where permanent rip currents often exist.

* Consider using polarized sunglasses, which help spot signatures of rip currents by cutting down glare and reflected sunlight off the ocean's surface.

* Pay especially close attention to children and elderly. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing.

If caught in a rip current, the agency urges swimmers to:

* Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.

* Never fight against the current.

* Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off and that you need to step to the side of.

* Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle -- away from the current -- toward shore.

* If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore.

* If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.

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