Surf Safety & How to Recognise a Rip

Surf Safety


  • Always swim or surf at places patrolled by lifesavers or lifeguards.
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags. They mark the safer area for swimming.
  • Always swim under supervision.
  • Read and obey the signs.
  • If you are unsure of surf conditions, ask a lifeguard.
  • Don't swim directly after a meal.
  • Don't swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Never run or dive in the water, even if you have checked before as water conditions can change.
  • If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Signal for help, float and wait for assistance.
  • Use 15+ sunscreen and wear a shirt and hat. Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming.
  • Learn how to spot a rip and keep clear of it. A rip can be recognised by sand coloured or rippled water running out to sea when the water on either side is generally cleaner. The waves may also be larger and breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip.
  • Keep the beach clean, put your rubbish in a bin and keep off the duned areas. They are there to preserve the beach environment.


Rip currents are one of the greatest hazards on our beaches. This video shows what they are, how to spot them, what to do if you get stuck in one, and the different types of rips.

YouTube video courtesy of www.scienceofthesurf.com.  Presented by Dr Rob Brander, a coastal geomorphologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Contact: Mary O'Malley | +61 2 9385 2873 | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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