Always swim at places patrolled by lifesavers or lifeguards

They mark the safer area for swimming

  • Always swim under supervision.
  • Read and obey the signs.
  • If you are unsure of surf conditions, ask a lifeguard.
  • Don’t swim directly after a meal.
  • Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Mollymook and Narrawallee beaches are more dangerous with rips than in many years and all patrols have been making life saving rescues, beachgoers should swim in patrolled areas with a friend.

Never run or dive in the water. Even if you have checked before. Water conditions can change. If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Signal for help, float and wait for assistance. Use 15+ sunscreen and wear a shirt and hat. Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming.

Identifying a Rip

Learn how to spot a rip and keep clear of it. A rip can be recognised by sand coloured or rippled water running out to sea when the water on either side is generally cleaner. The waves may also be larger and breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip.

If you are caught in a rip don’t panic – stay calm – If you are a strong swimmer, swim at a 45 degree angle across the rip and in the same direction as the current until you reach the breaking wave zone, then return to shore.

If you are a weak or tired swimmer, float with the current, don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore for about 30 – 40m until you reach the breaking wave zone, then swim back to shore or signal for help. Remember to stay calm and conserve your energy.signal for help.

Keep the beach clean, put your rubbish in a bin and keep off the duned areas. They are there to preserve the beach environment.

Unpatrolled beaches, rip currents and rock-fishing account for most drownings on the NSW coast. The following web sites are part of targeted campaigns to tackle these issues.

  • www.beachsafe.org.au Safety information on every beach in Australia, listing patrol times of those beaches patrolled.
  • www.ripcurrents.com.au This website is part of a national rips campaign. It focuses on rip education for the public.
  • www.safefishing.com.au This website is part of a national rock-fishing safety campaign.