There are two types of rip currents, 1. Permanent rip currents that are found alongside islands, rocky outcrops jutting into the sea, at river mouths, in between reefs and alongside harbour walls and piers. These permanent rip currents occur constantly in the same place and allow the water reaching the shoreline to retreat back into the sea in these permanent rip current. 2. Temporary rip currents which are found along beach fronts (along the shoreline), and they are forever changing their position and they are unpredictable and can form suddenly along a beach front without warning at different places along the shore front throughout the day and night.
During a Spring Tide (At full moon and again at new moon) these permanent rip currents and these temporary rip currents are stronger than what they normally are at other times of the month and although rip currents pose a danger at all times of any day and any night to bathers they pose the greatest danger during the Spring Tide.
Bathers are at risk of being swept out to sea by rip currents while swimming or wading in water along the beach front. Even bathers wading in shallow water who find themselves trapped in a rip current that forms suddenly are at risk of being swept out to sea by rip currents.
Bathers caught in a rip current should not panic. Simply stay afloat by treading water (moving your arms and legs in circular movements), don’t try to swim against the current as it will only cause you exhaustion and let the current sweep you out to sea but at your first opportunity swim parallel to the beach front until you are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore.
While this is happening scream for help and wave your arm to alert people on the beach to raise the alarm.
Swim at beaches where lifeguards are on duty and obey the instructions of the lifeguards and only swim within the safe swimming zones that the lifeguards post on the beaches (using their red and yellow flags).
Children should have responsible adult supervision at all times around coastal and inland waters.
Anglers fishing along the shoreline, particularly along rocks on the shoreline, are at greatest risk during the Spring Tide where incoming waves during the high tides wash higher than normal over rocks.
Anglers should not turn their back to the sea and should be vigilant and cautious of the wave action at all times while fishing.
Boaters, paddlers, sail boarders and anyone launching any kind of craft onto water should wear their life-jackets at all times while on water and carry easily accessible safety equipment - red distress flares, communications cellphone or VHF radio with fully charged batteries in water tight plastic sleeves, a waterproof torch, highly visible neon coloured clothing, a referee whistle worn around the neck, and let a responsible person know your time of departure, your exact intended route and your estimated return time and check in with the responsible person on your safe return. (If you are overdue the responsible person should raise the alarm without hesitation).