An easy way to spot rips is to look for generally calmer water on either side of consistently breaking waves – this is the water running back out to sea. How to Spot a Rip Current. Escape a riptide with these simple steps. Beaches are a relaxing place to spend a family trip or just enjoy a raging, booze-fueled spring break. Advertisement. A lot of people think they know how to spot a rip, but the fact is 70% of beach goers can’t and that’s a possibly fatal mistake you can’t afford to make on what should be a fun day at the beach. Aside from sunburns and jellyfish, one of the most dangerous things you have to look out for is a silent, sloshing killer: rip currents. Stay calm and float on the water surface. Do you know how to spot a rip or treat a jellyfish sting? If you made it to the beach this year, you managed to get your tan on and survive a shark attack.Congratulations! But a simple trick to spot rip currents is to watch for the patterns of wave breaking visible from the shore. Spot any foam or seaweed being carried away from the shore. 1. Usually, waves carry foam, seaweed, and other debris toward the sand. It may look a bit like a river within the ocean flowing away from the shore. A riptide can churn up algae, sand and debris from the sea floor as the water is being funneled back out to sea. If at all possible, get to a high vantage point near the shoreline. What to do if you get caught in a rip: - First and foremost, do not panic as this quickly leads to impaired judgment and exhaustion. Summer is drawing to a close. While a trip to the ocean can be packed with fun, it can also be dangerous. How a Rip Current Forms Look for a channel of objects steadily traveling out to sea instead of bobbing up and down or moving toward the shore. And how worried should you be about sharks? The symptoms of rip currents are most visible when seen from above.