yeah, I don't owe you anything, but... I'll keep an eye on you if you get stuck in a rip.

The most important thing you can do in that situation is stay calm. Make your strokes long, slow and powerful. Don't flutter. If you are in a rip, don't go crazy trying to muscle out of it, go with the flow until you are in a position that you can swim out of it, usually parallel to the shore. Most drownings are the result of freak-outs and over exhaustion. You just have to position yourself to get picked up by some whitewater and hope nothing grey decides you look like food.

Surf more to help your concerns. Some will criticize this because they are babies and the victims of the pussification of surfing... but... surf without a leash, it will get you more comfortable swimming after your board and will teach you how to avoid "yard sale" wipe outs.