16 Mar Beach Safety & Awareness
Here at Surf Camp Australia, we take pride in promoting beach safety and awareness for all of those visiting beautiful and sunny Australia; let’s face it, all of you are going to end up at the beach at some point.
So where do we start? Well let’s be real, you are all sat there reading this and the first thing you think of when you think of dangers out in the water is SHARKS…but not to worry. To even see a shark is incredibly rare. In over 18 years of operation, Surf Camp has never seen a shark. No worries there! Surprisingly, the biggest danger out there is actually that big thing in the sky: the sun. There’s nothing worse than going to the beach, thinking the sun is your friend (for that nice crispy tan) to later find out that it’s actually your worst enemy. Because of the hole in the o-zone layer, the sun’s UV rays are stronger here than most places. For those that prefer to be prepared, here is a list of “beach essentials”:
- 30 plus SPF sunscreen is both recommended and encouraged
- Sunnies (polarized are best)
- Hat and t-shirt combo when you can
- Plenty of liquid (not just beer!)
“Don’t be like me. Wear your sunscreen kids.”
On a serious note, 1 in 3 people in Australia get skin cancer in their lifetime. Keep a bottle of sunscreen (lotion preferred to spray) in your beach tote!
When you finally decide to get in the water, you will look down the beach and see that there is a decent amount of people in one allocated section of the beach, defined by red and yellow flags. These flags mark the heaviest supervision by lifeguards on the beach. This part of the beach is deemed safest by the lifeguards, where there is shallow water or a sandbank. It is also good for body boarders. It has also been determined by the lifeguards that there are no rip currents in that specified part of beach. So, what is a rip?
Well the waves are always crashing, right? That water crashing on the beach must go somewhere, logically speaking. A rip current is essentially the flow of water that comes from the waves and heads back to the sea; these “rips” are located where the deeper sections of sand are along the beach. If you do get stuck, don’t panic. It’s cliché, but it’s true. If you can manage, it is easiest to swim to the side, not against the rip, and eventually a wave will bring you back towards the shoreline. All things considered, if you are unable to swim or you need to call the lifeguards, raise one arm into the air, and keep a closed fist. This will faster draw the attention of the lifeguards instead of waving your arms like crazy. The waves are strong, but we know you are stronger!
SOME FINAL SAFETY TIPS:
Just some general knowledge that will prove useful if you plan to go to the beach at all, and we know you will.
1) Never swim at night, for obvious reasons
2) Never swim by yourself, just in case
3) Stay where the waves are—avoid those rips!
4) Stick to waves that are about waist deep
5) Don’t drink at the beach as you will be more susceptible to burns, caused by both forgetfulness and dehydration
And last critical piece of advice:
6) NEVER EVER EVER EVER swim at night
Long story short, sunscreen, sunnies, a hat, a t-shirt, and a little common sense are your best bets for staying safe at the Aussie beaches.