A rip is a strong current of water running out to sea. Waves normally wash up onto the beach and ebb back into the sea. In some places the ebbing water forms a strong channel pulling out to sea. On many beaches the force of this escaping water can drag you far out to sea. This is called a rip.
PermanentA permanent rip current will remain in the same area for months or even years. This is because the local ocean conditions change very little. Permanent fixtures such as drainage pipes and piers can also contribute to the local conditions.
FixedA fixed rip may last from several hours to several months. It is accompanied by a hole or gully in the sand on the ocean floor.
Flash rips appear suddenly, usually without warning. It is caused by a large build up of surf in a short period of time. The seaward pull may be intense and relatively short lived.
A travelling rip moves along a beach propelled by a strong current from the shore.
To avoid rips, look out for:
If caught in a rip, don't panic. Tread water or float. Once out past the breakers, swim parallel to shore and catch waves in. Or signal for help and wait for a lifesaver to rescue you. If you are a strong swimmer you can swim at 45° across the rip into the wave area, then catch a wave back to shore.
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|"At the Beach", a PRACE Language Learning Project. |
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These above descriptions of the rip are adapted from the Victorian government water safety site, which is copyrighted to the State of Victoria. Any copied text materials are reproduced here, without permission at this stage, for the purpose of private study and review only.