Rip currents are the number 1 hazard on Australian beaches being responsible for at least 21 drownings on average per year, as well as being the cause of many rescues. Rip currents often lead to drowning when swimmers attempt to fight the current trying to swim directly back to the shoreline, become exhausted and begin to panic.
How do you spot a rip current?
The key signs to look for are:
- Deeper darker water
- Fewer breaking waves
- Sometimes sandy coloured water extending beyond the surf zone
- Debris or seaweed
- Sometimes it’s easier to look for where the waves are breaking consistently, and then look to each side where they don’t break consistently. That’s the rip current!