Rip Currents

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Rip Currents (English)
離岸流 (日本語)
Illustration of a Rip Current (NOAA National Weather Service)
Several rip currents can be seen in this aerial photo at Huntington Beach, CA. Photo courtesy Tom Cozad

Strong, localized current flowing seaward from the shore; visible as an agitated band of water, which is the return movement of water piled up on the shore by incoming waves.

For more information on rip currents, see the NOAA National Weather Service Rip Current Safety website and 3 Myths about Rip Currents (Sea Grant California).

Here's an instructional video about rip currents from NOAA.