Displaying items by tag: waves

On the 29th July yet another tragic drowning occured at this Gower Beauty spot.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/man-dies-trying-rescue-child-9544706

Three Cliffs Bay is next to be covered on our Gower beach blog but we thought it far more important to re-publish our blog on rip currents before that. 

Whilst we wouldn't like to presume exactly what happened at this incident, its sounds very likely that a rip current was involved.

 The rivermouth at Three Cliffs Bay is a classic example of a rip current. We hope the following information helps you to recognise or escape from one should you be unfortunate enough not to spot it before you get in the water.

A Picture paints a thousand words;

;altaltalt

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Signs of rips can be ; Brown water, foam on the surface, debris floating, water surface is different from the rest of the beach (e.g flat when everywhere else has waves, rippled when everywhere else is flat)

So, what is a rip current?

Rip currents are generally caused by water leaving the beach (maybe out from a river, after a big wave or after the tide has pushed the water up and over a sand bank) and its trying to get back to sea level by the easiest way possible i.e the easiest way down the slope, similar to way a river acts. This action of heading back down the slope causes a current in a direction that may not be predicted by the unaware.

The problem is that these slopes on the beach are very subtle and often not visible in the sand by the naked eye but the volume of water that finds their path down them is so great that their effect can be like a river running out to sea. Not many people can swim or paddle their boards against a river/rip current for long without getting exhausted and that's why they are so dangerous.

How do I know if I'm caught in a rip?

Whenever you are in the sea you should keep a constant check on where you are in relation to the beach. If you find that you are paddling or swimming in one direction but not seeming to get anywhere then you may be in a rip current and you need to make a new plan before you don't have any energy left.

What are my options if I'm in a rip current?

As always in an emergency situation, you MUST STAY CALM.

Panic wastes energy, loss of energy leads to poor swimming/paddling technique and not making the right decisions.

Once you understand that you are in a rip current then the following graphic explains your options. 

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 Swim sideways to the current, the strength of the rip current will weaken further from the shore. The vast majority of rip currents will completely dissipate less than 100m from the shore.

The main points are, STAY CALM, don't try to fight against the rip current, take time to reasses, save energy and do something different than swimming/paddling directly against it.

How often do rip currents occur?

Rips can be present permanently or for medium or very short times on any beach. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR POSITION RELATIVE TO THE SHORE.

What causes a permenant rip?

A river mouth is an example of a permanent rip current. Its got a slope that channels water out to sea! 

Structures such as rock projections, groynes, drainage pipes or piers often have channels to their sides that provide an easy escape route for water off the beach. These structures are easy to spot and so the rip currents should be easy to avoid if you're aware.

How do I spot a short term rip?

Short term rips (Flash Rips) are more likely in stormy, heavy surf with long sets of waves that increase the volume of water above sea level. This, by nature, increases the volume of water that could suddenly flow down a slope on the beach therefore creating a rip.

If you're in the water at the time it happens, you may not be able spot it forming. Sorry to sound like a broken record but......ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR POSITION RELATIVE TO THE SHORE and if you realise that you are not getting to where you are trying to get to then you may be in a rip. Stay calm and swim/paddle sideways to the current.

Where can I get more information?

Coastguard, lifeguards, local surfers, surf schools, outdoor activity companies and many more, if you're not sure then its better to ask. If you still aren't sure then its wise to give it a miss altogether.

The ocean is a wonderful playground that gives us fantastic experiences and we want to encourage everyone to get in there as often as possible. Its a sad fact however that people get killed in it every year as it can be an extremely hazardous environment. 

BE AWARE-STAY SAFE-HAVE FUN

Published in Other
Monday, 27 October 2014 20:00

Rip Currents- Be VERY aware

A serious subject that we feel its our duty to inform you about. On Sunday 27th October 2014 at Mawgan Porth beach in Cornwall three people lost their lives in a rip current (sometimes misleadingly called a riptide). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2808627/Three-surfers-die-getting-difficulty-water-Cornish-coastal-beauty-spot.html

There are at least 8 definitions of the word 'Rip' in the dictionary but we're only concerned with the definitions that relate to the incident and to us here at RipnRock.

rip 1(raltp)

v. rippedrip·pingrips
v.tr.
1. To cut, tear apart, or tear away roughly : to rip a wave apart with amazing turns on a surfboard

rip 2(raltp)

n.
1. A stretch of water in a river, estuary, or tidal channel made rough by waves meeting an opposing current.
2. A rip current.

So that's the origins of our name cleared up but the second definition doesn't help you to know exactly what a rip current is or, more importantly, how to recognise or escape from one should you be unfortunate enough not to spot it before you get in the water.

A Picture paints a thousand words;

;altaltalt

altaltalt

Signs of rips can be ; Brown water, foam on the surface, debris floating, water surface is different from the rest of the beach (e.g flat when everywhere else has waves, rippled when everywhere else is flat)

 

So, what is a rip current?

Rip currents are generally caused by water leaving the beach (maybe after a big wave or after the tide has pushed the water up and over a sand bank) and its trying to get back to sea level by the easiest way possible i.e the easiest way down the slope, similar to way a river acts. This action of heading back down the slope causes a current in a direction that may not be predicted by the unaware.

The problem is that these slopes on the beach are very subtle and often not visible in the sand by the naked eye but the volume of water that finds their path down them is so great that their effect can be like a river running out to sea. Not many people can swim or paddle their boards against a river/rip current for long without getting exhausted and that's why they are so dangerous.

How do I know if I'm caught in a rip?

Whenever you are in the sea you should keep a constant check on where you are in relation to the beach. If you find that you are paddling or swimming in one direction but not seeming to get anywhere then you may be in a rip current and you need to make a new plan before you don't have any energy left.

What are my options if I'm in a rip current?

As always in an emergency situation, you MUST STAY CALM.

Panic wastes energy, loss of energy leads to poor swimming/paddling technique and not making the right decisions.

Once you understand that you are in a rip current then the following graphic explains your options. Hover over for text.

alt

 Swim sideways to the current, the strength of the rip current often weakens further from the shore.

The main points are, STAY CALM, don't try to fight against the rip current, take time to reasses, save energy and do something different than swimming/paddling directly against it.

How often do rip currents occur?

Rips can be present permanently or for medium or very short times on any beach. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR POSITION RELATIVE TO THE SHORE.

What causes a permenant rip?

A river mouth is an example of a permanent rip current. Its got a slope that channels water out to sea! 

Structures such as rock projections, groynes, drainage pipes or piers often have channels to their sides that provide an easy escape route for water off the beach. These structures are easy to spot and so the rip currents should be easy to avoid if you're aware.

How do I spot a short term rip?

Short term rips (Flash Rips) are more likely in stormy, heavy surf with long sets of waves that increase the volume of water above sea level. This, by nature, increases the volume of water that could suddenly flow down a slope on the beach therefore creating a rip.

If you're in the water at the time it happens, you may not be able spot it forming. Sorry to sound like a broken record but......ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR POSITION RELATIVE TO THE SHORE and if you realise that you are not getting to where you are trying to get to then you may be in a rip. Stay calm and swim/paddle sideways to the current.

Where can I get more information?

Coastguard, lifeguards, local surfers, surf schools, outdoor activity companies and many more, if you're not sure then its better to ask. If you still aren't sure then its wise to give it a miss altogether.

The ocean is a wonderful playground that gives us fantastic experiences and we want to encourage everyone to get in there as often as possible. Its a sad fact however that people get killed in it every year as it can be an extremely hazardous environment. 

BE AWARE-STAY SAFE-HAVE FUN

Published in Beach & Surfing
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 10:20

Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay

 

Bracelet Bay and Limeslade Bay

 

Bracelet Bay is just around the corner from Mumbles Head and holds some significant beachside awards. It holds a Blue Flag Award and the Seaside Award. A Blue Flag Award is awarded to beaches internationally that have high levels of cleanliness, safety and high standard amenities. The Seaside Award assures visitors that they are guaranteed to find a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed stretch of coastline.

Bracelet Bay is also a SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest) mainly for the limestone geology that surrounds it and a small fossilised coral reef. The rock at Bracelet Bay dates back 290 millions years.

Bracelet Bay is also home to a fascinating and beautiful cave which begs to be explored, if you can find it....but you must be wary of the tides.

Limeslade Bay is the next bay around from Bracelet. It is mostly rocky and pebbley with little sand, the Bay holds the Rural Seaside Award and the Green Coast Award.

Just a few metres north of Limeslade Bay is the start of the Gower coast path and leads onto Rotherslade and Langland Bay.

Published in All Categories
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 11:49

Know your flags

Know your flags

It is really important to know your flags on a beach as they are telling your different things!

Big Orange Windsock - this indicated the wind direction and the wind speed! If the wind sock if flying when you are at the beach, you should NOT use inflatable's.

Red Fag - This flag indicated danger, never enter the water when a red flag is flying.

Black and white chequered flag - this indicated an area made by the beach lifeguards that is for surfers and kayakers only.

Red and Yellow flags - these are the flags you want to be looking out for, they indicate an area on the beach where is safe to swim and enjoy yourself while being watched by a beach lifeguard.

 

Remember enjoy your summer safely. 

 

Published in Beach & Surfing
Monday, 02 June 2014 12:25

Inflatables

Inflatable's

Rubber rings and Lilo's are all to familiar to all of us. But in the sea they could be your worst enemy.

Inflatable's are likely to get caught by any wind and this could lead to your getting swept out to sea. Many beaches will display an orange flag when there is an off-shore wind - this is when they are an absolute no-no. Many lifeguard stations advise against even using them in the sea, though if they are used, is must be between the red and yellow flags.

Never use inflatables in choppy sea conditions. 

NEXT IN OUR LINE OF BEACH SAFETY BLOGS - KNOW YOUR FLAGS.

 

Published in Beach & Surfing
Friday, 30 May 2014 10:19

Coasteering

Coasteering

Coasteering is an activity ran by many providers around the Welsh coast, most popularily on Gower and in Pembrokeshire. The activity consists of jumping, plunging, traversing, climbing, swimming, cave exploration and marine life watching, it is a great activity for all age groups!

Instructors who take coasteering are very knowledgeable of the sea and how it works, we know where to go and where not to go to make sure that a fantastic time is had by all in the safest possible way!

When you come Coasteering with us you will be provided with a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet!

And you will need to bring your swimsuit (to go underneath the wetsuit), a spare pair of strong shoes to wear in the sea, some shorts to go over your wetsuit to avoid bum scuffs! Also always good to remember a towel too :)

Next in the line of Beach Safety blogs - Inflatables

Published in Coasteering & Climbing
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 13:52

Waves and Tides

Waves and Tides

Fun Facts

Did you know that ocean tides are created by a combination of the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun combined with the rotation of the earth!

Most places have two high tides and low tides per day

There are times during the earth's rotation that the moon and the sun are on the same side and this causes larger tides, these are known as Spring Tides.

The important stuff..

Whenever you head to the beach always check the tides, you may get to the beach and it will be a high tide and the beach will not be accessible. 

Always be cautious about when the tide is going out or coming in, be careful not to get cut off by the tide.

Waves are not safe environments to play in, the sea is very unpredictable and what looks like fun could end in tragedy with bigger waves taking you out to sea.

 Coming up next - Coasteering

 

Published in Beach & Surfing
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 14:19

Stay safe on the beach this summer

Stay safe on the beaches across Gower this summer with these helpful tips from the RNLI. Where ever possible swim at a beach with a lifeguard on visit www.goodbeachguide.co.uk to find the beach closest to you with a lifeguard.

Always read and obey the safety signs, they will often be informing you of any dangers that could occur. On lifeguard manned beaches swim between the yellow and red flags as these are the safest areas to be swimming in.

Avoid swimming alone If you see someone getting into difficulty, do not try help them unless you are trained as they could push you uner the surface in a panic, alert the beach lifeguard or if there is no lifeguard call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

More tips to follow in the next blog entry - All about Rip Tides

Published in Beach & Surfing
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