Surf and water safety

Surf and water safe tips

Wollongong boasts the best that nature has to offer and is particularly famous for its sublime coastline, featuring 17 surf beaches that are patrolled from September to April. Whilst we want every student to be able to take advantage of all that Wollongong (and Australia) has to offer, it’s important to remember that our oceans can be very dangerous and unpredictable, even for very strong swimmers, so you must always be responsible and safe when swimming.

Find out more - Beach Safe

When you’re at the beach, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • Always swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags. These have been marked out by Surf Lifeguards and Lifesavers as safe swimming areas.
  • Never swim after dark or after consuming alcohol or taking other drugs
  • Swim with a friend
  • Read the safety signs before you go on the beach to ensure you are aware of any warnings or dangers
  • Follow the advice of Surf Lifeguards and Lifesavers and feel free to ask them for any safety advice
  • If you get into trouble, stay calm and raise your arm in the air and wave it from side to side to attract attention from a Surf Lifesaver
  • Be realistic about your own ability to respond to changing surf conditions

Rip Currents

Rips currents are a hazard to be aware of on Australian beaches. They are strong currents of water flowing away from shore through the surf zone. The best way to avoid a rip is to swim only at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags.

If you are caught in a Rip Current it’s important to follow these three steps:

  • Relax – stay calm and float to conserve your energy
  • Raise – raise your arm and attract attention from the lifeguards or lifesavers
  • Rescue – the lifeguards or lifesavers will be on their way to help you

Be Sun Smart

The Australian sun is very harsh and will burn your skin if it not properly protected.

You can do this by following the “Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap” rule:

  • “Slip” on a shirt
  • “Slop” on sunscreen
  • “Slap” on a hat and
  • “Wrap” on some sunglasses

For more information about being sun smart, please visit the Cancer Council Australia website.