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Always Swim Between the Flags
Any beach can be dangerous. Beach-goers should be careful and always swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate that the beach is patrolled. When swimming between the red and yellow flags, always look back to the beach to check that you are still between the flags. If you choose to swim outside these flags, you could be moving into a more dangerous location.
What is a patrolled beach?
Patrolled beaches are identified by red and yellow flags. With 67 of Victoria’s most popular beaches having lifesaving patrols during the summer months, there’s no reason for you not to swim between the flags. For further information on professional and volunteer patrols check the Life Saving Victoria website.
What if a beach is not patrolled?
As beaches are not patrolled every day of the year, please remember to:
- check it’s OK to swim
- never swim alone,
- read and obey the water safety signs.
What is a Rip?
A rip is a strong water current running out to sea from a beach. Rips can easily sweep swimmers out to sea from shallow water, sometimes several hundred metres offshore. Rips occur at all beach locations, including bays. Common signs of a rip are:
- murky brown water caused by sand and seaweed
- being stirred up off the sea bed
- foam on the surface extending beyond the break
- waves breaking on both sides of the rip but not inside the rip (the rip may seem calm and inviting)
- water that appears dark, indicating deeper water
- debris floating out to sea.
You can survive rip currents by knowing your options:
- For assistance stay calm, float and attract attention.
- To escape a rip, swim parallel to the beach.
- Always conserve your energy, waves can assist you back to the beach.