What if I'm caught in a rip

Many people have been in a rip but not known it as they find themselves in deeper water and quickly end up on the sandbank with the flow of the rip.


If you can’t float comfortably – do not swim in the surf anywhere except patrolled beaches in between the “red & yellow flags” (see surf tip 1) because rips will take you out of your depth.


If you can float/swim and get caught in a rip - you should allow the rip to take you off the beach - then take time to feel which way the current is taking you. Float with the current towards the sand bank - which is indicated by the waves and the white water. The most important thing you can do is to stay afloat by conserving energy. If you feel you must swim, move within your comfort zone with the current at an easy pace to conserve energy, but you must be monitoring your movement by looking back at the beach.

The rip should carry you over to the waves on the sand bank where you can walk back to shore, or be carried by the waves. If you are scared, put up your hand and yell for help, never swim back toward the beach, as you will not get back. Remember you are the only thing that can make yourself drown. If you cannot float - consider wearing or riding a floatation device

Remember most of our coastline is not patrolled, therefore if you are going to take a risk in the surf, ensure there are surfers in the water who’s surfboard can be used as a floatation device

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