How to Survive a Rip Current

The Willis Way is a rip current survival method used to avoid and or escape rip currents, originating in the distant past way before life guarding ever existed. Passed on from generations of experienced surfers and watermen big wave surfing found this “self-rescue” survival technique the most efficient way if not the only way for self-rescue.

In 1998 giant wave surfers the Willis brothers (twins) Milton and Michael began teaching this proven rip current survival technique to the general public. In circa 2000 the rip current survival technique began being referred to as the Willis Way. Today this technique is officially taught to lifeguards and Jr. guards in New Jersey and still relied on for “self-rescue” by experienced surfers around the world.

How to escape a rip current

To escape a rip current the Willis Way stay calm and swim toward the nearest waves. Ocean waves are nature’s escalator of energy moving towards the shore. When it comes to powerful rip currents there is only one way a swimmer can make it back to shore with out the aid of a lifeguard, jet Ski or helicopter and that is to come in with the incoming waves. There is no other way. This technique specifically targets “self-rescue” when and or where lifeguard assistance is not available.

How to avoid a rip current

To avoid rip currents the Willis Way Simply wade or swim in front of the waves. Rip currents are nature’s escalator of energy going away from the shore and returning to the sea. Rip currents can be difficult to spot even for the most trained water safety experts. Many times inexperienced beach goers look for the calm areas were waves aren’t breaking to go bathing or swimming. This is where danger can begin. While the calm water may appear to be a safe to swim it’s actually where rip currents happen. Science shows out going rip currents occur along side or in-between waves. Thus, to avoid rip currents bathers need to stay in front of incoming waves.


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How To Survive A Rip Current - The Willis Way