Longshore currents are similar to rip currents, but they do not pull you out further into the ocean, they push you sideways and parallel to the beach. Longshore currents often form on Oak Island when the wind is out of the east or west, parallel to our south-facing beach. Unlike rip currents, longshore currents can be miles, or even hundreds of miles long, so the only way to escape them is to swim or walk towards the beach. They are seldom strong currents, but they can be. In most cases you can simply walk back to the beach. If you encounter an especially strong longshore current, just swim towards the beach, while allowing the current to drift you further east or west. You will be back to safety in no time at all.