Drowning is one of the leading causes of deaths of U.S. citizens abroad per the U.S. Department of State. Travelers who will be engaging in any water activities, such as water sports or visiting beaches, rivers or creeks, should be aware of the dangers which water can present.
Stop and assess the situation prior to swimming. Particularly when entering unfamiliar bodies of water, individuals should be cognizant of their ability to swim as well as be able to recognize signs of rip currents. What is the weather in the vicinity? Do not swim during a storm. Check for posted cautionary signs and only swim at designated beaches with clear warning systems (e.g. flags) or lifeguards on duty, if possible. Do not consume alcohol prior to or while swimming and never swim alone.
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, do not try to fight the current. Instead, swim parallel or at a 45-degree angle to the shore. Many swimmers succumb by fighting against the current. For more information on rip currents, please see the United States Lifesaving Association.