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Getting caught in a rip can be frightening and fatal and learning how to spot one might just save your (or someone else’s) life.
The number one rule to ensure you and your family stay safe at the beach is to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.
Before you rush into the surf, stop and take a moment to assess the water conditions. Know your limitations and act accordingly.
Look for the signs that our lifeguards put up every day and learn how to read the ocean for yourself. Talk to our Lifeguards and Lifesavers for advice
Last year alone our lifeguards conducted over 700 rescues - most of them could have been avoided if the swimmers exercised better judgement.
What is a rip?
When waves come into the shore, they have to go somewhere. Rips are the channels of water getting sent back out to sea.
So, how do you spot a rip?
Often swimmers seek out the 'calmer' looking water with less breaking waves, and this is a common mistake.
Typical characteristics of a rip include:
Try to remember, if it's green, it's mean. Fewer breaking waves are a tell-tale sign of a current flowing underneath. So stick to the breaking waves and white wash.
What to do if you’re caught in a rip?
Stay calm and focus on staying afloat, rips will not pull you under they just pull you away from shore.
Don't try and swim against the rip you will tire yourself out.
Call and raise up your hand for attention.