Beachgoers along the South Coast, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and coastal Rhode Island should be on the lookout for rip currents Friday, forecasters warned.

There are moderate risks for rip currents for these areas Friday, as well as low risks across coastal Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service. The risk is only set to last for Friday, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at the weather service in Norton.

“There is a fairly large surf that is making its way into coast Rhode Island and along southern coastal Massachusetts right now,” Dunham said. “Offshore, the swells are anywhere up to 6 to 8 feet.”


The moderate risk means those who plan on going into the water should check with their local beach patrols for local conditions. People should also avoid swimming alone, at night, or not within the sight of a life guard, the NWS said.

Rip currents usually extend from the shoreline and are described by the weather service as “powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore.”

Dunham said that while the water temperature is in the upper 50s, making few people want to go into the water, if you do decide to go, “you have to be careful.”

If you get stuck in a rip current, NWS says on its website to think of it like a treadmill that can’t be turned off. It recommends swimming out of the current and then swimming toward the shore at an angle.

“We advise you not to fight it,” Dunham said.

Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @breannekovatch.