Keeping safe at the beach these holidays
14 January, 2022
Who doesn't love the idea of a beach holiday, relaxing on the beach, kids playing in the water, not a care in the world? We agree the beach is a magical place to spend your summer holidays. However, it is important to beware of potential dangers so that you can keep yourself and your family safe.
One of the biggest risks to anyone, young and old is getting caught in a rip. Here is an excellent video we encourage everyone to watch on how to spot a rip:
About Rip Tides: These are present on many Australian beaches. These are not just an important force of nature, but also hard to spot at times, and with deadly results at times.
A rip is formed when waves rush to and break on a beach and the water that forms on the shore needs to flow back to the sea through deeper channels with a sometimes strong current. These channels are what we call rips or rip tides.
Rips flow out to the sea through various methods. They may lead out to the sea through a strong current. They may also flow out at an angle, and may even seem to return to the beach.
To know if a section of the nearby sea has a rip current or tide, some of the signs to watch out for are fewer breaking waves, murky dark-colored water, or a section of still waters with a rippled surface in the middle. Another sign could be dark sandy water flowing outwards to the sea.
Even then, the rips may not be visible and may not show the signs above. Always take time to check the water around you, and never risk it. If the beach has been checked by a lifeguard and is patrolled, do not go outside the yellow and red flags.
Other tips on keeping your family safe at the beach:
- When you first arrive at the beach look for the following:
-Flags that represent where it is safe to swim
-Any other beach signs that give you useful information
- Talk to your kids about staying safe: Refresh your children on what ocean currents and rips are and what to look out for. See if they can spot them for themselves and can demonstrate what to do if they get caught in a rip.
- Designate boundaries: Putting in place some sort of landmarks/boundaries will help your kids not to get lost. For example, when on the water, your children will need to stay in between the lifeguard chair and another fixed, clear landmark, such as a signboard. This way when the ocean moves them around as they swim they can look back on the beach and orientate themselves to find you again.
- Be alert and watch your kids: it's good to be on vacation mode, but don't forget to keep an eye out for the kids. Never rely too much on the equally busy lifeguard.
- Use sunscreen and stay hydrated: Before you know it, time will go fast at the beach. Sunscreen is an essential must and might need to be reapplied as necessary. Encourage your kids to drink water.
With these few things in mind, you are sure to have a safe and energising time on your beach holiday!
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