Don’t Fight the Rip

Don’t Fight the Rip

Whether you are swimming, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, or doing any sort of playing in large water, you will want to brush up on your rip current identification and safety. Rip currents can occur in any body of water where there are breaking waves, such as in oceans, seas, and lakes. Also, known as “rips,” but not “rip tides,” rip currents are basically formed by incoming water needing to find a way back out to sea and away from the beach by taking the path of least resistance. This means that water will flow to the lowest surface points of beach topography.

Rips are surface currents, so do not pull you under the water. Your best strategy if caught in a rip current is to float your way out to where it peters out, or if you can, move parallel to the beach out of its flow and then move diagonally toward the beach. Never fight against the current. Fighting is exhausting and can put you in greater danger. National Geographic says: “They can be more than 45 meters (150 feet) wide, but most are less than 9 meters (30 feet). They can move at 8 kilometers (5 miles) per hour.” But most important is to brush up on identification before setting out. Recognising and avoiding a rip is obviously the best way to stay safe.

Start with this video from Surf Life Saving Australia: Click Here!

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