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SLSA BEACHSAFE WEBSITE - http://sls.com.au/beach-info/beach-safety#overlay-context=be-safe

The BeachSafe website is brought to you by Surf Life Saving Australia as part of our continued commitment to Education and Safety in the aquatic environment.

The website brings to you current information and conditions for the beach you would like to visit, hazards you might find and services available to assist in your beach choice to let you relax and enjoy your activities during your stay.

 

Beach Safety

Lifeguards top tips - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znuu-pgnZCI&feature=youtu.b

  1. Always swim between the RED AND YELLOW FLAGS. 
  2. Read the safety signs
  3. Ask a lifeguard for safety advice
  4. Always swim with a friend
  5. If you need help, STAY CALM and attract attention 

 

The Surf Environment

SLS Rips Current Identification - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkObAXrjpzs

 

What is a rip?

When waves break on a beach, they push water towards the shoreline. Once that water reaches the shore, it has to find a way to get back out to sea, and it does this by flowing downwards into deeper channels in the surf zone. Once the water is in these deeper areas, it can flow back out to sea away from the shoreline. These deeper channels are called rip currents.

Identifying a Rip

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!

Escape from a rip

If you get caught in a rip current, you need to know your options:

1. For assistance, stay calm, float and raise an arm to attract attention.
2. While floating, rip currents may flow in a circular pattern and return you to an adjacent sandbar.
3. You may escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves.
4. You should regularly assess your situation. If your response is ineffective, you may need to adopt an alternative such as staying calm, floating and raising an arm to attract attention.

 

Surf Skills

Negotiating the surf

Before entering the surf, always make note of a landmark such as a building or headland that can be seen from the water and used as a guide for maintaining a fixed position. Also check the depth of any gutter and the height of any sandbank before diving under waves – this will help prevent spinal injury.

When going out through the surf, negotiate the shallows by a high hurdle type of stride until the breakers reach your waist or until your progress is slowed.

Waves of any size and force should not be fought against and should be negotiated by diving underneath, giving you time to reach the bottom and lie as flat as possible on the sand while the wave passes over.

Your hands can be dug into the sand in front at arm's length for stability and as a pull forward when ready to surface.

If the water is deep enough, bring your knees up under your body so you can get a good push off the bottom, like an uncoiling spring. This gives added force to your next dive. Repeat this process until in chest-deep water, then start swimming.

If a broken wave approaches when the water is not too deep, dive down and run or crawl along the bottom. In deep water, do not use extra energy trying to reach the bottom; instead duck dive to just below the turbulence. Wait for the wash to pass and then push or kick to the surface (off the bottom, if possible).

Stick to your predetermined path on the swim out.

Check your position by occasionally raising your head for a quick look when swimming on top of a swell.

Body Surfing

Body surfing is riding waves without any equipment. You need skill to know how to catch the wave at the right time, using its energy for propulsion. The skills required to become a good body surfer come from just one thing: Practice.

Spilling waves are best for body surfing, but if you can catch a plunging wave you can avoid injury by somersaulting out before it breaks.

  1. As the wave is almost upon you, push off the bottom or start swimming toward shore until you feel the wave begin to lift and carry you.
  2. As the wave breaks, take a breath, put your head down and kick hard until your body breaks through. Your feet should be together, your back arched slightly and your arms extended in front of you. As the wave becomes steeper, tilt forward and surf along the wave's face.
  3. You will probably have to paddle a bit to hold your position on the wave. Try to keep your body straight.
  4. As you approach the beach, pull out of the wave by turning your body away from the wave's breaking force, or jackknife dive and let the wave pass over your body