RIP DANGER: University of NSW’s Dr Rob Brander says rip drownings are preventable and it’s important to stay calm if you get caught in one.
RIP DANGER: University of NSW’s Dr Rob Brander says rip drownings are preventable and it’s important to stay calm if you get caught in one. Marc Stapelberg

These simple steps can prevent rip drownings

EVERY drowning in a rip current is preventable, says Rob Brander.

The UNSW associate professor and coastal geomorphologist has contributed a large body of research to the study of rip currents.

Five years on from the rip drowning of Sydney parents Carole and Joseph Sherry at South Ballina Beach while trying to save their two youngest, Dr Brander said more needs to be done.

"Theoretically, every rip current drowning is preventable because if you don't get in a rip, you won't drown in one," Dr Brander said.

"Often the rescuers are the ones who drown because they're in a heightened state of panic.

"Don't be scared of the rip, this thing is not taking you to New Zealand.

"Five minutes can be a long time when you're pretty worried but often rips can bring you back into the shallows or at the very least they take you out the back where it's relatively calm and somebody can come and get you.

"Slowly make your way towards the white water where the waves are breaking. The key thing is just don't be scared, don't freak out, don't panic."

 

SAFETY TIPS

Avoid getting caught:

Learn to identify rips

Swim between the flags

If no flags, go no further than waist deep and carry a flotation device

 

If someone's in trouble:

Stay calm. Don't run in

Grab something that floats: boogie board, surfboard, Esky

Have someone phone 000



Greens slam compulsory acqusition of hospital site

Greens slam compulsory acqusition of hospital site

MP says government is "wasting millions of taxpayers money”.

Council in hot water after secret decision to halt business

Council in hot water after secret decision to halt business

Tweed's water extraction debate is heating up, again

Work begins on the last of the major flood repairs

Work begins on the last of the major flood repairs

Tweed flood repairs get big funding boost

Local Partners