The beach is Australia’s favourite playground and we flock there by the millions every summer.
Learning to swim to survive is the most important thing you can do to stay safe in any aquatic environment – and is the #1 most important thing to learn before you get to the beach.
But, whether you’re a hardcore ocean swimmer or a graceful toe-dipper, the beach can be an unforgiving and dangerous place once you’re there.
While fun is usually at the top of our minds on beach days, so should be your safety. Don’t get caught out this summer by taking unnecessary risks when you visit the beach.
OceanFit’s new Ocean Responsibility Code has been designed to educate you to make ocean safety your responsibility.
Keep to The Code to have fun and stay safe at the beach this summer.
OceanFit’s top 5 ocean safety tips from The Code:
1. Respect the ocean
The ocean environment is powerful, unpredictable and home to hidden dangers.
This might not be a practical tip, but it is #1 for a good reason. If you don’t respect the ocean then you will be caught out. Top watermen respect the ocean because they know of its immense power and unforgiving nature – you should respect it too.
2. Swim at patrolled beaches
Swim between the red and yellow flags on beaches patrolled by lifeguards.
This should be a no-brainer. When you swim at a patrolled beach you have the added comfort and protection of knowing trained lifeguards are keeping watch. The flags are the safest area to swim, but if you’re on a surfboard you’ll need to keep out – in this instance just keep close.
Statistically, the majority of drowning deaths occur on unpatrolled beaches during unpatrolled times.
3. If in doubt, stay out
It’s safer to stay out of the water if you’re unsure of the conditions or your ability.
When you respect the ocean this tip shouldn’t be a problem. You can avoid getting into trouble in the water by simply staying out when it’s beyond your ability, confidence or fitness levels.
If you decide to stay out, make the most of your trip to the beach by catching some rays, enjoying a coffee with a view or doing a bit of soft sand running.
4. Watch out for each other
Swim with a buddy and keep within sight and arms reach of children at all times.
No matter what your ability level always swim with a buddy. The ocean is unpredictable so you need to look out for each other. If you’re in a group do a headcount when you get in, buddy up and re-count when you leave the water.
When it comes to children there’s no let off, you need to keep 100% visual contact. Hold the hands of babies and toddlers, and keep within arms reach of younger children.
5. Remain calm and raise an arm
If you get into difficulty: remain calm, float to conserve your energy and raise an arm for assistance.
People who panic waste their energy and make stupid decisions that can cost them their lives.
If you find yourself out of your depth you need to remain calm, float with your head above water and think about your options. On patrolled beaches, you can raise your arm for the assistance of a lifeguard. On unpatrolled beaches continue to float, get the attention of surfers and other beach users and wait for them to organise a rescue.