One person will drown every two to three days this
summer... 90% of those fatalities will be
rip-related. Here are a few things that will help
you and your kids stay safe this summer. I have also
put together a few images that show what to look
1. The easiest thing to remember is that often
the safest/calmest most enticing looking area along
a beach is usually a rip. A rip is usually the area
void of wave activity and appears darker and
deceptively calmer. It can sometimes appear milky or
turbulent, but it is always pretty much void of wave
activity. All that water coming in via waves has to
go back out somehow, this is what a rip is. (see
2. Always take 5-10 mins when you get to the
beach to observe surf conditions and identify where
these areas are.
3. If you are caught in a rip, DO NOT PANIC. Go
into floating mode and raise one arm as a distress
signal when possible. See which direction the rip is
taking you, is it straight out or at an angle? once
you have determined this, and if you have the
energy, swim to the right or left of the direction
of flow, never against. Some rips can move at 3
times the speed of an olympic swimmer, you won't
win! If you cannot swim out to either side of the
rip, just go with it. Most rips won't take you out
very far, and will usually spit you out not long
after they take you, so keep calm and save your
energy for the swim back to shore.
4. If you have kids, show them these pictures,
educate them and make them aware. You can't always
be watching them, and it is only a matter of a few
metres each way of the point of entry to the water
that could mean them being safe, or instantly caught
in a rip.
Obviously the safest place to swim is always
between the flags on a patrolled beach, but this
isn't always practical given the immensity of our
coast line and number of beautiful beaches. Of
course there are many other factors that can come
into play when it comes to beach safety, but rips
are the No.1 killer. They are not hard to identify,
and 10 mins observation before entering the surf is
much easier than body retrieval.
*The darker/calmer areas in the pics are rips.
The one with purple dye shows rip movement.
Information kindly provided by
Kenny Jewell - Official (new window)
Please Scroll Down for Pictures & Further Comments ........