The beach is absolutely marvellous, but it is also its own master and you need to understand it to remain safe this summer.
Rainbow Beach Surf Club Captain, Tas McClintock, said: “We don’t want any tragedies over summer and the Christmas period, so please make sure you swim between the flags and don’t get out of your depth.
“Last month while on patrol, a flash rip popped up and travelled along the beach. You can’t always see them coming but we saw this one at pretty much the same time people started getting caught.
“We had a dozen rescues including a kite surfer who couldn’t get back to shore. We had to move the flags further north to protect the swimmers.
“The natural tendency is to panic when you get caught in a rip, but if you do get stuck, make sure you try to stay calm, put your hand straight up and signal and wait for assistance.
“Try not to swim back against the rip as it will tire you out – if you have energy you can swim sideways to get out but this is best for experienced swimmers.”
Tas said he can’t tell at this time what the conditions will be like for Christmas as it all depends on the winds, but they are talking about hot weather and storms this year.
If there are northerlies, there may be bluebottles, so the treatment now is hot water to treat the sting or failing that, use ice.
Tas’s Top Ten:
- Swim between the flags – they are there for a reason
- Make sure you hydrate with water and slip, slop and slap
- Don’t swim after dark
- If you do get a sting, see the lifesavers
- Don’t swim in a storm
- Don’t swim after drinking alcohol
- Have a great time and watch your kids
- If you aren’t sure about the conditions, ask the lifesavers
- Stay out of the midday sun
- Become a lifesaver and help us save lives!