Beach Safety

Stay safe at the beach this summer with these few tips!

    

    

Find the flags and swim between them. The flags represent the area patrolled by lifesavers and lifeguards. They mark the safest place to swim at the beach.

Look at the safety signs. The safety signs help you identify potential dangers and daily conditions at the beach. These are located at beach access points and at the flagged areas. Please read them carefully before entering the water.

Ask a lifesaver for some good advice. Surf conditions can change quickly (water depth, currents, wave size and type). Talk to a lifesaver or lifeguard before entering the water.

Get a friend to swim with you. Always swim with a friend so you can look out for each other’s safety and get help if needed. Children should always be supervised by an adult.

Stick your hand up for help. If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Raise your arm to signal for help, float and wait for assistance. Float with a current or rip. Don’t try and swim against it.

Rip Currents

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. 

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