How to survive in a rip current – swim elsewhere, or stay calm …
Firstly its best to be able to identify a rip and not swim there – You’ll see less waves… that region might look a little bit murky because the water’s moving so quickly, or there will be a lot of sand. It will often be where the surfers are paddling out as thats the fast way to the break. SLSA provides info in the video here on how to identify a rip.
The things to look for are deeper, dark-coloured water; fewer breaking waves; a rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters; and anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves.
You should swim on a patrolled beach. Professional Lifeguards review conditions and set flags in safe areas. Flags indicate a good swimming area away from rips.
Check regularly you are swimming in the flagged zone because you can be gradually pulled away from this area by current.
How to survive in a rip current
If you do get caught in the rip – DON’T PANIC.
Stay calm and consider your options. Raise an arm to seek help. Try floating with the current, it may bring you back to shore. Swim parallel to the shore or towards breaking waves and use them to help you in. Reassess your situation.
According to Belinda Hartmann (Patrol Captain Jeppesen Patrol), “staying calm” will save your life. “Rips don’t drown people. People drown in rips… You’re best off just conserving your energy, and floating with the rip.”
How to survive in a rip current – Check out more of Belinda’s tips here https://www.mamamia.com.au/how-to-get-out-of-a-rip/