Rip Currents

Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. The best way to avoid a rip is to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags.

How to spot a rip current?

Rips are complex, can quickly change shape and location, and at times, are difficult to see. The things to look for are;

  • Deeper, dark-coloured water.
  • Fewer breaking waves.
  • A rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters.
  • Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves.

Rips don’t always show all of these signs at once.

How to survive a rip current?

  • Relax – stay calm and float to conserve your energy.
  • Raise – raise your arm and attract attention from lifeguards or lifesavers.
  • Rescue – the lifeguards or lifesavers will be on their way to help you.
  • While floating, rip currents may flow in a circular pattern and return you to an adjacent sandbar
  • You may escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves.
  • Reassess your situation. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try one of the other options until you’re rescued or return to shore.