It’s summer, so it Must be shark season!

‘As soon as the circumstance became known to the inhabitants, a number of persons resolved upon attempting the capture of the shark…’
– The Moreton Bay Courier, 1847, following an attack on James Stewart in Brisbane.

‘The hunt is intensifying for a great white shark suspected of killing an American diver off Western Australia’s south-west coast’
– The Age, 2011, following an attack on George Wainwright, at Rottnest Island.

While the language may have changed, the message stays the same, like John Wayne in a Hollywood western, we’re gonna round up the posse and seek revenge.

With the summer not far away, our desire to get to the beach increases, and just as night follows day, to the media another yearly season has begun – shark season.

Rip Currents: Friend Or Foe?

I run a popular community education program called The Science of the Surf that started off as monthly seminars at Tamarama Beach with a release of harmless purple dye into the rip current (hence the nickname ‘Dr Rip’).

It’s been 10 years since I started and I’ve now presented my talk to over 50,000 people, mostly school kids, and more than half a million people have watched my YouTube videos on rips and waves.

And it all started because as a surf scientist and a lifesaver at Tamarama, it was pretty obvious to me that most people didn’t have a clue what rip currents were and that was a wake up call for me.

I just assumed all Australians knew about rips, but the truth is, they don’t and that’s a big problem.

Rips are the biggest hazard you’ll face at any beach that has a lot of breaking waves.

Every year about 30-40 people drown in rips in Australia and about 90% of the tens of thousands of surf rescues are rip related.

Just watch a few episodes of Bondi Rescue and you’ll get the idea.

They account for more fatalities in a typical year in Australia than bushfires, floods and sharks COMBINED.

Yet how much press coverage do they get? Not much.

We have developed a very dangerous complacency about the danger of rips.

I could harp on about rips forever and if you’ve looked through the OceanFit website, you’ll see Andre harping on about them as well and that’s because they are seriously important and they are pretty much everywhere on the South-east coast of Australia.

But here’s the thing… they don’t need to be scary.

Rips are a surfers best friend.

Who wants to paddle out through the surf when a nice rip can give you a free ride out the back and you can surf all day without getting too tired?

And it’s not just surfers who can use them. Bodysurfers and ocean swimmers alike can use rips to their advantage.

Don’t be scared of rips. Learn what they are, how they work, how to spot them and how to avoid them or use them to your advantage.

Increase Your Ocean Awareness And Overcome Your Fear Of The Ocean

The ocean can be a scary place and it’s quite common for people to have a fear of it.

For those sufferers, it can mean an unhappy summer on the sand.

So how can you overcome your fear of the ocean?

Ocean anxiety is fairly common with OceanFit participants in our ocean confidence courses.

People really want to enjoy the beach more but they just can’t seem to shake their fears.