Understanding Rips

RIPS ARE STRONG CURRENTS THAT CAN QUICKLY TAKE YOU FROM THE SHALLOWS OUT OF YOUR DEPTH
Lifeguards will show you how you can avoid rips but if you do get caught in one:

  • What to do if caught in a RIPStay calm – don’t panic
  • If you can stand, wade don’t swim
  • Keep hold of your board or inflatable to help you float
  • Raise your hand and shout for help
  • Never try to swim directly against the rip or you’ll get exhausted
  • Swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip, then make for shore
  • If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Waves

Waves are formed by the wind blowing across the surface of the sea. How steeply a beach shelves will also affect the size and type of wave.

Spilling WavesSpilling waves (left) are ideal for beginner board riders as they break consistently. Start off in the shallow white water before progressing to deeper water and unbroken waves.

Dumping wavesDumping waves (right) or heavy shore break should be avoided. These waves break quickly with a lot of force making them dangerous for beginners.

Tides

A beach can seem like a vast playground but the tide can come in surprisingly quickly. Many lifeboat and lifeguard rescues are to people getting cut off by the rising water. To prevent this happening to you, get local tidal information from the Harbour Master, the tourist information centre and some seaside retail outlets, or visit bbc.co.uk/ weather/coast/tides. Always keep a look out for the tide’s direction while on the beach.

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