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Rip currents (Rips)

Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can easily take swimmers from shallow water out beyond their depth. They are especially powerful in larger surf, but are also found around river mouths, estuaries and man-made structures like piers and groynes.

How to spot a rip current
  • Discoloured, brown water (caused by sand being stirred up from the seabed)

  • Foam on the water's surface

  • Debris floating out to sea

  • A rippled patch of sea, when the water around is generally calm.

How to get out of trouble

If you are caught in a rip or strong current, obey the three Rs:

  • Relax: Stay calm and float. Do not swim against the current, swim across it.

  • Raise: Raise an arm to signal for help. If possible, shout to shore for help.

  • Rescue: Float and wait for assistance. Do not panic; people drown in rips because they panic. Obey directions from the lifeguard.

    If you think you are able to swim in, swim parallel to the beach until out 
    of the effects of the rip and then make your way to shore.