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Understanding Rip Currents

Rip currents, colloquially known as "rips," are a natural occurrence found on beaches globally, wherever waves break across a surf zone. Their presence is not exclusive to specific types of beaches but extends to ocean shores, inland seas, and other expansive water bodies, including renowned spots like Manly Beach..

Rip Safety


Surf Safety

Always Swim Between Flags

Manly Ferries operate at intervals of about 15 to 20 minutes, with increased frequency during peak hours, departing from Circular Quay's Wharf 3. The return trips follow a similar schedule, completing the journey in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. To ensure punctuality, ferry gates close two minutes before departure.


Manly SLSC

Australian Life Savers

Australian Life Saving at Manly Beach stands as a testament to the nation's commitment to beach safety and preserving the well-being of beachgoers. With a rich history dating back over a century, the Australian Life Saving movement has been an integral part of Manly's coastal landscape. Manly Beach, renowned for its surf and vibrant beach culture, benefits from the vigilance of dedicated lifeguards who are part of this esteemed organization. These highly trained and skilled professionals and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure the safety of swimmers and surfers, conducting regular patrols, offering assistance to those in need, and employing the latest rescue techniques. The iconic red and yellow flags, synonymous with Australian Life Saving, proudly flutter along the golden sands of Manly, symbolizing a commitment to excellence in beach safety and embodying the spirit of camaraderie that defines this vital organization. View SLS Website


Dangerous Surf

Beach Closed

Signs will be posted down the beach if there is rough seas that are too dangerous to swim.

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Shark Alarms 

Shark Safety

When the shark alarm sounds at Manly Beach, it's a crucial moment that demands swift and coordinated action from beachgoers to ensure everyone's safety. The primary response is to remain calm. Lifeguards and authorities are well-trained to manage such situations, and it's imperative for individuals to follow their guidance. Typically, the following steps are recommended:

Rips can be very Dangerous 



Spotting A Rip 

Recognizing a surf rip is essential for beach safety, and it often manifests as a darker, more turbid strip of water amidst breaking waves. Surf rips form when water carried onto the shore rushes back to the sea, creating a concentrated current. Observing the water's movement can provide valuable clues: look for channels where water moves seaward more rapidly, as well as areas with fewer breaking waves. Additionally, foam and debris being carried away from the shore may indicate the presence of a rip. A surf rip can be deceptively strong, pulling swimmers away from the safety of the shallows. It's crucial to educate oneself on these visual cues and stay vigilant when enjoying the ocean to enhance personal safety and awareness of coastal dynamics.

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Caught in a rip

Swimming Out of a Rip

If caught in a surf rip, it's essential to remain calm and refrain from panicking. The instinct may be to swim directly back to shore, but this can be exhausting and ineffective. Instead, swim parallel to the shore, moving perpendicular to the flow of the rip. This strategy allows you to exit the narrow current more efficiently. If possible, signal for assistance by raising one arm. Float on your back to conserve energy and try to keep a steady breathing rhythm. It's crucial to avoid exhausting attempts to swim directly against the rip, as this can lead to fatigue. Following these guidelines increases the chances of safely escaping a surf rip and reaching shallower waters closer to the shore.


Do not enter the water unless you are an 

experieced swimmer 

Assisting Someone Caught in a Rip

Assisting someone caught in a rip current requires a composed and strategic approach. The first step is to alert lifeguards or beach authorities immediately by calling for help. Avoid putting yourself in unnecessary danger by entering the water without proper training or equipment. If you are a confident swimmer, consider grabbing a flotation device, such as a rescue buoy or surfboard, and throw it to the person caught in the rip. Shout clear and reassuring instructions, encouraging them to remain calm and float on their back. If available, guide them on swimming parallel to the shore to escape the narrow flow of the rip. Prioritize your safety and the safety of others by seeking professional help promptly, as lifeguards are trained to handle such situations efficiently.


Benefits of a Rip

Using a Rip

While surf rips are often associated with potential dangers, they can also offer unique benefits for experienced surfers. Advanced surfers may strategically use surf rips to catch waves more efficiently, providing an opportunity to ride larger and more powerful waves. Surf rips can act as natural channels, guiding surfers to prime locations where waves break with more intensity. It requires a deep understanding of ocean dynamics and surf conditions to harness these benefits safely. However, for the average beachgoer or novice surfer, it's crucial to approach surf rips with caution and prioritize safety, recognizing their potential risks rather than viewing them solely as opportunities.

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