We are thrilled to have you here in this beautiful country surfing with us. We know after your first surf experience you are going to fall in love with the ocean and would want to enjoy it with or without a surfboard. So if you are going to swim in the ocean make sure you do it the safe way.
Australia has an incredible coastline and amazing, unspoiled beaches. And most visitors tend to fall in love with them. There’s just something you should be aware though. With any beach activity, there is a level of risk, especially strong currents and rips, but with good planning and a sensible approach to water safety, you will have an amazing time on our gorgeous Australia’s beaches.
So… Where can I swim?
Always swim between the flags at patrolled beaches. You will find that many beaches are not patrolled, with some being very dangerous and far away from any help. So if you were to get into trouble it could take a long time for help to arrive. To make things worse, some locations also have poor cell phone reception. So avoid swimming in isolated beaches.
Never swim alone, even if you are a good swimmer, the ocean can be rough and you can get in trouble very quickly. Also, don’t dive into unknown water depths as spinal injuries can occur.
When at a patrolled beach, the safest place to swim is between the red and yellow flags. These are in areas of the ocean were the lifeguards consider to be safe to swim in. Make sure you follow lifeguards directions. They will use whistles, sirens, loudspeaker announcements, hand signals and verbal directions to keep swimmers safe.
What happens if I get caught in a rip current?
Rips are powerful currents that can drag a swimmer out to sea. They can be affected by shifting sandbanks. If you find yourself caught in a rip, don’t panic. A rip will flow against the waves back out to sea, so if you swim parallel to the beach into the breaking waves, after just a few meters you can often swim out of it.
You can also choose to float and go with the rip because it will often disperse, If you are a decent swimmer you will be able to get yourself back to shore. If you are in trouble and need help from the lifeguards or lifesavers, raise one arm up in the air and wave.