CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Rip currents are common along the coast and potentially deadly. There have already been several incidents involving rip currents in the Coastal Bend this year, and one resident wants rip tides to be added to the statewide Reverse Alert system.
When you go to area beaches you will see warning flags and signs telling people about the conditions of the water. However, Flour Bluff resident Terry Samuels said people are not paying enough attention.
Samuels said he goes to the beach almost every day and even when the red flags are up, which indicate dangerous rip currents, families are still way out in the water with their children. He said in an age where people are paying more attention to their phones, there needs to be a way for people to be warned when it is not safe to go into the water.
Because the coast has so many visitors from all over Texas, Samuels came up with the idea to add rip currents to the state Reverse Alert system. Samuels said whenever the danger is high along the Texas coast, residents can recieve a text much like an Amber Alert.
Samuels said he has been in contact with Je'Sani Smith's family. Smith would have graduated from King High School on Saturday but died in April after he was caught in a rip current. Samuels said he promised Smith's family that he would try to prevent this from happening to other families.
"There's been many over the years and we just don't want anymore, and if we can, I know we can't stop them all but if we save some, that's better than none," Samuels said.
Samuels said he has received support from State Representative Todd Hunter's office, but the next legislative session will not happen until 2021. In the meantime, he and local leaders can put out a local alert that can be a model to take to state legislation in two years.
Samuels said right now he is working with Corpus Christi Emergency Management to test and put out local alerts about rip currents.