RIPS what are they? A rip is a strong current of water running out to sea. They are formed by a buildup of water washing onto the beach, which needs to find its way back out to sea. The force of water forms a channel called a rip.
Rips are a major cause of swimmer difficulties.
Common Signs of a rip are:
Discolored brown water due to sand that has been stirred up off the bottom.
Foam on the surface extending beyond the break
Waves breaking further out on both sides of the Rip
Debris floating seaward
A rippled appearance where the surrounding water is generally calm
Types of rips
A permanent rip will remain in the same area for months or even years due to little change in the sea bottom and prevailing conditions. Permanent fixtures, such as drainage pipes and piers, can also cause rips.
A fixed rip can last from hours to months. It is accompanied by a hole or gully in the sand on the sea floor.
A flash rip will appear suddenly and usually without warning. It is caused by a large build up of water in a short period of time. The outward pull is usually intense and short lived.
A traveling rip moves along a beach propelled by a strong current from the shore.
How to prevent being caught in a rip?
Swim in between the red and yellow flags on a patrolled beach.
What to do if you are caught in a rip
- Remain calm and tread water, Float, dont fight the rip, float or swim accross in a diagonal direction – do not try to swim against the rip
- Raise one hand straight up in the air to signal for assistance
- Remain calm and wait for a Lifeguard
- If you are a strong swimmer or not -float and raise your hand– or swim parallel to the shore for 30 – 40 meters taking at least 20 strokes at a steady state rest , not sprinting as this will cause your muscles to tighten up and feel heavy; repeat this if needed to get out of the rip, then swim to the shore lying flat on the surface, using breaking waves and white water to push you in.
While information presented here is believed to be accurate, no assurance can be provided. In any event, Surfcoach does not accept liability for any decisions made or actions taken on the basis of this information.