On many occasions I've gotten my butt kicked by pounding waves at the beach in Hawaii. I also used to visit the beach often in Virginia. But I've never gotten caught in a riptide. At least I don't think I have.
A pro surfer from Australia was in Hawaii filming the surf when there's a sizeable group of people headed for the water. He realizes something is up and that's when you see his phone drop. Luckily someone picked it up and kept filming in the second clip.
Riptides are dangerous because you don't necessarily realize that you are being pulled out to sea until it's too late. And then panic sets in.
Photo credit: BRIAN BIELMANN/AFP via Getty Images