Lake Piru is a 1,200-acre reservoir with a 12-mile shoreline and over the years there have been a number of drownings, making it as hazardous as the ocean. A rip current is essentially a narrow river that heads lakeward that can trap swimmers and pull them out away from shore. Rip Currents. Weather systems like cold fronts often increase the winds over the lakes, which increases rip current risk. A rip current, often simply called a rip, is a specific kind of water current that can occur near beaches with breaking waves. These are terms that people commonly use to describe dangerous currents. However, since there are no tides in the Great Lakes (needed to form a rip tide) and currents don’t pull a person … Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including Great Lakes beaches. Some people often confusef rip currents with rip tides, which is a different type of current. The Great Lakes average 10 rip current fatalities per year, mostly on beaches with shoreline structures, such as board walks. From 2002 to 2012, there were 413 dangerous current-related incidents in the Great Lakes resulting in 120 rip current-related fatalities. That is why these types of currents are called rip currents. A rip tide is a rapid movement of tidal water across the entryway of estuaries, inlets, and harbors. Rip currents can be hazardous to people in the water. A rip is a strong, localized, and narrow current of water which moves directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves like a river running out to sea. Different kinds of dangerous currents can be found in the Great Lakes that claim lives every year. Rip currents have killed more than 100 people in the Great Lakes since 2002. A rip current is strongest and fastest nearest the surface of the water. You may have heard about rip currents, rip tides, or undertows. An area where a rip current develops can be identified by what appears to be calmer water where no waves are breaking. Swimmers who are caught in a rip current and who do not understand wh Rip currents are tighter, more dangerous versions of rip tides. At a Glance. Understand the influences that contribute to dangerous current development in the Great Lakes.