If you’ve grown up by the ocean, you probably pride yourself on knowing how to read the waves, but are you able to correctly identify dangerous rips in the surf?
They’ve released a video challenging beach-goers to scrub up on their knowledge of rip currents and make safe decisions in the water.
So, can you spot the dangerous current in this photo?
Rips are powerful channels that pull water back from the shore out to the ocean. They can change quickly and be difficult to spot, so Surf Lifesaving Australia always recommend that people swim between the red and yellow flags on patrolled beaches.
In the event you get caught in a rip, the most important thing to do is to stay calm.
Rips prove fatal when swimmers try to fight them and get exhausted, which is why the advice is to never swim against a rip.
Instead, lifesavers recommend staying calm and calling for help if there are people around. If you’re alone, it’s recommended you conserve your energy and float with the rip in the hope it will loop back to shore.
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Alternatively, try swimming towards the breaking waves parallel to the shoreline, to get out of the rip.
According to the 2017 National Drowning Report, 291 people lost their lives in waterways including beaches, rivers and harbours, across Australia between June 2016 and July 2017.
Three quarters of those killed were men, and the most common activity was swimming.
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