Kathryn Lindsay
July 12, 2015 1:09 pm

All those places that have started banning selfie sticks might want to reconsider the decision. Sixteen-year-old Erynn Johns says her selfie stick saved her life. While vacationing at Surfside Beach in Nantucket, Erynn and her father waded into the water with their GoPro on the stick, shortly before being caught up in a rip current and completely losing control.

For those who aren’t familiar with rip currents, they’re very strong, naturally occurring currents up to 30-feet wide that flow away from the beach at speeds up to six miles per hour. While that doesn’t sound like much, it’s faster than any Olympic swimmer has ever gone. Whoa.

So what happened? Well, you can see for yourself. Because of the GoPro, Erynn caught the whole thing on camera:

Bear in mind, the video gets a little scary, so if you don’t feel like watching, here’s the gist: Erynn and her father wade out into the water, but are soon caught up in the nasty current. They both hold tight to the selfie stick, and it ends up being their saving grace, keeping them together and somewhat in control. They get rescued by the now infamous “man in the orange shorts,” who turned out to be Tommy Vach, an experienced surfer.

Luckily, it all worked out okay, and ended being a lesson in how to handle these kinds of natural challenges. Even so, Erynn’s father, former marine, said he “never felt that kind of fatigue or fear.”

So I’m sure the question on all our minds is, what exactly should we do if this happens to us? Well, despite your instincts, it’s most important to stay calm. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you get to an area where the water dies down. And, of course, bring a selfie stick.

(Image via)

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