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Beach Safety – Rip Currents

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Wherever there is surf, you can also find ‘rip currents’. Make sure you know what rips are – and what to do if caught up in one.

Rip currents are formed by all that water that has rolled in as waves flowing back out to sea — it’s got to go somewhere! If caught in one, you may find yourself being surely (and powerfully) draw into deeper waters. If you stay between the red and yellow flags, you should have no problem with these currents, however, if you do get stuck in one, try your hardest not to panic. Keep calm, and know this drill.

Don’t try to swim directly back to shore – the current will probably be flowing faster than you can swim and you will simply wear yourself out. Instead, swim sideways (across the current, and parallel to the beach) – this way you’ll be able to break out of the line of current into ‘slack’ water. Shout for help as soon as you realise what is happening, and if possible wave both arms in the air. During summer there are usually plenty of people on our beaches so it is very likely that someone will hear or see you and alert the lifeguards.

Make sure everyone in your family knows the drill!

Find out more about beach safety from the RNLI website – and where you can, please do donate to this lifesaving cause and the brave men and women keeping us safe in our lovely waters.