Here is a selection of photographs to show you what rip currents look like. Think of them as rivers of water that flow out to the back waves, and remember that they will not pull you under the water. Don't panic, swim to the side and wave for help to escape a rip. Look at the sea before you go for a swim - and look for the 'river of water' flowing out that will show you where the rip is.Please choose to visit a beach where lifeguards are on duty and swim between their flags. If you have not seen the NSRI six minute video on rip currents click here.
Pictures for media use are on Sea Rescue's Flickr page. Click here.
A rip current from the air - the dark water between the waves. Picture by John Larter.
The dark water between waves is the rip.
Rips at Natures Valley shown from high. The many channels are clearly visible as the rips pull out at low tide. Picture by Torsten Henschel.
Rips at the Wilderness - the dark water flowing out is clearly visible. Picture Liza Wigley.
A rip - turquoise water - flows parallel to the beach before flowing out to sea. Picture Torsten Henschel.
A sign at Swartvlei beach warns of the danger of rip currents.