In an emergency, call TRIPLE ZERO (000)

Rip Currents

If you’re swimming at the beach and find yourself being taken away from the beach and unable to get back, it is more than likely you are caught in a rip current.

Rips are one of the most common hazards on Queensland beaches. Lifesavers and lifeguards perform countless rescues each year to assist swimmers who have been caught in rip currents.

If caught in a rip you should swim parallel to shore and once in the wave zone return to shore. You should not attempt to swim against the current directly back to the shoreline as this will leave you exhausted and unable to stay afloat.

Rip currents instructional poster (transcription unavailable)

How do I spot a rip current?

The key signs to look for are;

  • Deeper and/or darker water
  • Fewer breaking waves
  • Sandy-coloured water extending beyond the surf zone
  • Debris or seaweed
  • Significant water movement

To avoid being caught in a rip current, ensure you swim between the flags at a patrolled beach, where lifesavers and lifeguards are on duty.

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