Learn how to survive a Rip.
What is a Rip? What can you do to survive a rip?
What is a rip current?
A rip current, or a rip, is a moving flow of water which can sometimes be strong or fast flowing. They have even been called the rivers of the surf. It will usually start near the shoreline and flow away from the beach. It may feel like you are in a fast moving flow of water – like being in a river – or you may not notice it at all.
Rip currents come in many shapes and types, but they all flow away from the shoreline. Some rip currents can circulate water within the surf zone, while others can push well beyond the furthest breaking waves. These changes are called rip current behaviour. Different behaviours occur under different swell and tidal conditions. Rip Currents can flow up to 3 meters per second. Rip currents tend to flow faster and be more apparent on a falling or low tide, as more water needs to move away from the beach.
How to avoid rip currents?
To avoid rip currents, always swim between the red and yellow flags, because if surf lifesavers or lifeguards can’t see you, they can’t save you. Always look out for warning signs on beaches indicating the presence of rip currents.
How to spot rip currents?
Since the waves will always break in shallow water, and rip currents will always occur in deeper water, there are some common features to look for. The deeper water will appear darker in colour than the white water of the shallow sandbank. Because rip currents are also in deeper water, there will be fewer breaking waves.
Simple Instruction can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to be trained in First Aid and CPR coming up to the beach season. Common sense is a must – if a beach says closed or strong currents please do not swim. Please swim on a patrolled beach and in between the red and yellow flags.