Stay safe at the beach this summer with these few tips!
When waves break on a beach, they push water towards the shoreline. Once that water reaches the shore, it has to find a way to get back out to sea. It finds a way into the channel so it can flow back out to sea away from the shoreline.
These channels are called rip currents. Rip currents are the number 1 hazard on Australian beaches being responsible for at least 21 drownings on average per year, as well as being the cause of many rescues.
Rip currents often lead to drowning when swimmers attempt to fight the current trying to swim directly back to the shoreline, become exhausted and begin to panic.
How do you spot a rip current?
The key signs to look for are:
- Deeper darker water
- Waves won’t be breaking in the rip current
- Sometimes sandy coloured water extending beyond the surf zone
- Debris or seaweed
So how do we get out of a rip current?
Raise your hand for assistance, stay calm and float on your back. Ride the rip current out to sea. Rips usually only go as far as 50-70m off shore. If you are a strong swimmer, swim across the rip and return back to shore. Never swim against the rip.