How NOT to end up on Bondi Rescue
Beach safety is very, very important, as Australia appears to have been blessed with a wide variety of things that can harm you (most of the poisonous spiders and snakes on earth can be found here!), and our beaches are no exception. Most locals know the basics of beach safety, but many tourists and exchange students don’t, so here are my top five beach safety tips that will hopefully help you stay safe and healthy.
Swim between the flags! Always, and I mean ALWAYS, swim between the flags. The flags are placed at the safest swimming spot on the beach by the lifeguards, and this is the area you’re least likely to drown in. Anywhere else and you’re at risk of being accidentally hit by surfers, getting caught in a rip, pulled out to sea, or dragged onto the rocks, none of which is fun. Generally lifeguards only keep watch on the spaces in between the flags, so even if you do get in trouble, you’re more likely to be seen.
Wear sunscreen and a hat, and drink lots of water! These tips aren’t necessarily just for the beach, but they are especially important if you’re going to be in the hot sun all day, so you don’t get dehydrated or sunburned, or worse, cop a bad bout of sunstroke.
Listen out for the sirens, and pay attention to what the lifeguards say. If you hear a siren sound, get out of the water ASAP – there may be a shark.
Don’t overestimate your swimming ability. If you aren’t a great swimmer, don’t go out too far, otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll get caught in a rip or simply find yourself out of your depth (literally). There are lifeguards on most beaches who can assist you, but no one wants to be in that situation, so don’t put yourself in it.
If you aren’t a regular, seasoned swimmer, don’t go to the beach alone. Reason being, if something DOES happen, your companion will be able to alert lifeguards and other authorities.
Most of all, have fun – the beaches in Australia are beautiful and should be taken advantage of, especially if you’re only here for a short time. So make the most of it, stay safe and enjoy the sunshine!