Lifesavers warn of strong rip dangers

Ben Bird (front), Mark and Jaime Thomas and Brooke Poad (back), will be patrolling beaches in summer. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d426228
Ben Bird (front), Mark and Jaime Thomas and Brooke Poad (back), will be patrolling beaches in summer. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d426228

The club is the only surf lifesaving club in the City of Rockingham and patrols the often-treacherous Secret Harbour beach.

With the region’s booming population, many of whom are migrants, the club is desperately trying to spread the beach safety message before crowds flock to the water.

Club captain Richard Lowe said summer patrols started this month, timed with the school holidays and dangerous surf conditions.

‘The public are reminded that this time of the year traditionally sees changing conditions at Secret Harbour with large surf and shallow sand bars,’ he said.

‘This results in strong rips and an increased risk of spinal injuries.’

Mr Lowe said it could take just a matter of seconds for a swimmer to get into serious trouble and start to disappear below the surface, an action known as ‘climbing the ladder’.

He said beachgoers should swim between the red and yellow flags, stay sun smart and not panic if they get caught in a rip but signal for help and swim parallel to the beach.

Lifesavers will be on patrol from November, from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and 9am to 2pm on Sundays until March 29. Public holiday patrols run from 9am to 1pm.

Summer beach safety tips
– Swim between the red and yellow flags.
– Ask surf lifesavers about beach conditions before entering the water.
– Be sun smart.
– If caught in a rip, signal for help and swim parallel to the beach.
Up-to-date beach conditions are available at www.beachsafe.org.au.