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


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;



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. 


 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. 


Sunset Photo Competition

Post 26 February 2015 By Sally Haines In Other

Having been amazed by some of the winter sunsets we've seen recently we decided we want to see your pictures of the ones that you've seen.

As an incentive we thought we would offer a prize for our favourite that we receive - a voucher for 4 people to come on an adventure of their choice with us.

All you have to do is like our facebook page and send us your best shot with a date and location of when it was shot- SIMPLE!!

For inspiration, check out our best effort from this winter -


When we asked our 'RIPNROCK family' (Facebook friends, Twitter and Instagram followers, e-mail friends and relatives) to nominate us for the Swansea Bay Tourism Awards we would have been over the moon to be selected as finalists in a category. Imagine our surprise and delight when we were informed that we had been shortlisted for TWO awards!

Best New Business & Best Activity Provider

Tickets were duely ordered and we arranged to share a table with our friends and partners at http://www.pittoncross.co.uk/ campsite who were also hoping for an award in the campsite section. The day was quickly upon us and posh frocks and suits were adorned.

Feeling very pleased at having got this far and that anything else would be a bonus we had an added surprise, on arrival at the http://www.swansea.gov.uk/brangwynhall and collecting a programme we discovered that we had in fact been shortlisted for THREE awards!! The unexpected new comer was for 'Best Visitor Experience'.

The odds for success suddenly felt in our favour and little butterflies for what might be began to flutter.

The Brangwyn hall looked amazing:


The food was lovely, the company fun and interesting and, after coffee, the main event began. Many happy people feeling proud of themselves, their staff and their combined achievements as the various awards were presented. 

A full list of the finalists can be found here http://www.swanseabaytourismawards.co.uk/finalists2014.php but at the time of writing, no winners list had been published.

Our categories were near to the end and the wait was almost too much to bear! But when they came, we were ecstatic with our success;

High Commendations in the Best New Business and Best Visitor Experience categories.

Here's a picture of Company Director Sally Haines and proud husband and RIPNROCK instructor Dave collecting one of the awards



Our success is in no small part due to the support that we've recieved from all of our customers, the reviews they've left and the recommendations that they've made to help us improve at every turn. We'd like to express our heartfelt thanks to them and our close friends and family who have been tremendous from the very start. 


Although football isn't really our sport here at RipnRock, it makes us very happy to see the local Premier League  team Swansea City FC having such an amazing start to the season. 

A 2-1 win away against Manchester United and a 1-0 win at home against Burnley sees the Swans sitting pretty at 3rd in the table.

Keep it up lads!!

If you want to keep up with the team then check out http://www.swanseacity.net/

On saturday we enjoyed helping to make the Gower Carnival at South Gower Sports club a roaring success. It seemed like we had a constant stream of people all wanting to try out the 'RipnRock Challenge' for the chance of winning a family day out with us.

The challenge was to be the fastest person to don a climbing harness, clip in and belay our cuddly Monkey on a sketeboard towards you. Once the skateboard croseed the line, the harness had to be removed and then the drowning boy buoy needed saving by throwing a rescue throwline to him. This proved to be the downfall of many as the wind conditions were variable to say the least!

At the close of play, our lucky and skillful winner was Will Thomas from Cardiff who completed the challenge in 44seconds. This time was over ten seconds faster than his next nearest rival and so we say his prize is well deserved. We look forward to taking Will and his family on his choice of coasteering, canyoning, climbing, abseiling or surfing!

Thanks again to South Gower sports club, see you all soon :-)


Hey guys! This is my first ever blog and the start of many more to come! So keep following the blog to keep up to date with our latest adventures, exciting news and upcoming events around South Wales! :-)

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Tel: +44 (0) 7815 784122

Email: info@ripnrock.co.uk