Please be safe,
"Swim Between the Flags"
Why Swim Between the Flags?
- Early each morning lifesavers check the surf conditions at major beaches and put out the red and yellow flags showing the safest areas to swim.
- The flagged swimming areas have been chosen for safe water depth, wave breaking patterns, underwater obstacles and possible rips.
- The surf lifesaving patrol is located in the flagged area.
- Large beaches often have more than one flagged swimming area.
- During the summer, the flags are up and the lifesavers are on duty usually from about 8am to 6pm.
Rip DangersEven the strongest swimmers can be carried far from the shore by a rip. Struggling to swim against a rip can be very tiring and dangerous.
Rips can be identified by dark or discoloured water on either side of a wave, foam on the surface of the water, debris floating out to sea and rippled offshore water compared to calm, surrounding waters.
If you are caught in a rip, don't panic! Keeping calm will ensure that you are safely rescued. Wave one arm above your head to alert a lifesaver. IF you are a strong swimmer, swim at an angle of 45 degrees across the rip. This will carry you out of the rip and you should be able to surf a wave back to the beach.
If you are tired or inexperienced, rollonto your back and just 'go' with the rip until you no longer feel the undertow, then swim parallel to the shore for 30 or 40 metres and catch a wave to the shore.
Sun SafetyThere's a price to be paid for days spent in the sun on our glorious beaches - skin cancer. Some skin cancers such as melanoma are killers. Be smart in the sun while at the beach and learn sun safety!
Did you know....
- Melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, is twice as common in Australia now than it was a decade ago.
- Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.
- Not only does the sun induce skin cancer, it kills the cells that protect the skin.
- Two out of three Australians will get skin cancer.
- Skin cancer is Australia's second biggest killer.
- 1200 Australians die of skin cancer each year.
- Using sunscreen on a regular basis when outdoors will protect the body's defences against skin cancer.
Apply a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15+ sunscreen to all exposed skin. Sunscreen should be reapplied every three to four hours or when coming out of the water. When you are swimming, sunscreen will wash off and water can magnify the sun's rays.
A tent or large beach umbrella is recommended for beach-goers. Remember, even on cloudy days you can be burnt. Cloud cover can reflect UV rays potentially 'bouncing' harmful rays up and down.
Remember that even when swimming, you can sweat. Make sure you take a bottle of water with you, and drink regularly to stay hydrated. Do not mix alcohol with swimming, your faculties can become impaired, and you may not be the best judge of. when and where to swim, after a 'few'. Your lifesavers or lifeguard usually have water on hand, please be sure ask for help when necessary.
Beach GlossaryWhat do these terms mean?
- Rip - A strong current moving out to sea.
- Gutters/trough - Stretches of deep water running parallel to the shore. Poor swimmers can easily get out of their depth.
- Drop Off - A steep and sudden increase in water depth close to shore.
- Body Surfing - Swimming towards the shore on the face of a breaking wave - the thrill of surfing without a board.
- Longshore Drift - Unpredictable current running parallel to the beach.