David Eliassen shared a story with Everything Geraldton about three young people who were rescued this morning by a passing surfer.
It comes as a reminder for everyone about being smart regarding rips in Geraldton.
"FOR ALL THE PARENTS!!! Well it's a fantastic time of year again when the weather and the water warms up, the beach is beautiful and seems like a good place to send the kids for a few hours. What I have seen this morning is a pretty rough wake up for most parents, I was taking a walk down back beach this morning and a young girl around 13-14 with 2 younger boys came walking on the beach and proceeded to go for a swim, barely 10 minutes later (probably not even that) there is a guy on a surf board bringing the girl in waving asking to get help. All 3 kids found themselves stuck in a rip and in serious danger of drowning, if it wasn't for the heroic stranger on the surf board saving them they were in serious trouble. More to my surprise was when I did the run from where they were around 1km to the surf club, there was no one there!! I respect the Aussie surf life savers an immense amount for what they do and why they do it, but in places like geraldton where the water warms up so early in the year and everybody heads to the beach, why doesn't the council organize to open earlier? Even a small staff presence would be better than none!! Please parents, teach your kids surf awareness and to swim between the flags for their safety and your own sanity!! Get the young ones involved in nippers to teach them early and get them confidence in the water with swimming lessons!! "
Be sure to teach your kids about how to detect and avoid rips, and what to do if stuck in one.
Here's a link to some vital rip detection, avoidance and survival info: http://beachsafe.org.au/surf-ed/ripcurrents
An extract from the page:
Rip Current Survival
If you get caught in a rip current, there are two approaches you can take, or a combination of both:
1. Relax, float and attract attention: if you are on a patrolled beach or there are surfers nearby, you can float with the current and wait for assistance. Sometimes, rip currents can also flow in a circular pattern which will return you back to the sandbank where you can stand up.
2. Escape the rip current, by swimming parallel to the beach towards the breaking waves.
These may sound like simple options, but rip currents are complex, dynamic processes and both responses also have down sides. You could float on an unpatrolled beach and not be returned to a sandbank with no-one there to help. You can also swim parallel and end up swimming against a longshore current which can flow along a beach; this will see you get tired quickly.
The best thing you can do is stay out of rip current in the first place! The best ways to do this are:
Always swim between the red and yellow flags
Learn how to spot rip currents and avoid them