Every year, millions of people come from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful beaches in Australia. While the beaches look amazing and very inviting, they are also known to have a few hidden dangers that every visitor should be aware of. Whether you are taking a Sydney tour, a Gold Coast tour or you’re simply checking out the beaches at your own pace, the following helpful advice will ensure you have an enjoyable and safe beach experience.
Swim at Patrolled Beaches
Throughout the day, many of the more popular and centralised beaches in Australia are patrolled by lifeguards. These lifeguards are there to ensure that you have a fun and safe time swimming, keeping you safe from dangerous things like large waves, rip currents and shifting sandbars. When swimming at these beaches, you can feel more secure knowing that there is always someone to help you if you get in trouble. It’s very important that you always listen to the lifeguards, like when they ask you to come closer to the shore.
Swim Between the Red and Yellow Flags
On the patrolled beaches, there will often be two red and yellow flags set up on the beach. The area between the two flags indicates the stretch of water that is safe to swim in, and is where the lifeguards will be watching swimmers. There are sometimes dangers outside of this flagged area, such as irregular water depths and rips, so it’s best to stick close to the swimming area.
Swim With a Friend
Going to the beach with a friend or group of friends is always safer because you can watch out for each other’s safety. This is especially true if you plan to visit more secluded beaches or beaches that aren’t patrolled.
Protect Yourself From the Elements
When enjoying the beaches, many people get themselves into trouble even when they’re not in the water. Suffering from dehydration and sunburn is very common after a day at the beach, so always make sure you cover up, wear plenty of sunscreen and bring water with you.
Read the Safety Signs
At most beaches, there will be a sign that warns swimmers about any potential hazards at that particular beach. For instance, you might see warnings about things like submerged rocks, strong currents, shallow water and rough surf. If the sign recommends for you to not swim at that beach, it’s important that you heed the advice.
Familiarise Yourself with Rip Currents
One of the biggest hazards at Australian beaches is rip currents. These currents are very dangerous because they pull you out from the shore and sometimes even pull you under the water. Familiarise yourself with the warning signs of a rip, such as strong sideways currents, and make sure you know how to get out of a rip if you get caught. If you do get caught, avoid panicking and attempting to swim against the current. Instead, try to float, dive under any waves, and attract the attention of a lifesaver by raising one arm in the air.
Staying safe when swimming at Australian beaches is one part common sense, and one part looking for signs of any hazards. To make sure you have a fun and enjoyable holiday, always remember to give the ocean the caution and respect that it deserves.