A recent drowning has been the topic of much conversation up here. Three children caught in a rip were helped to safety by their mother who then got in the rip herself. Their father went to her aid and both parents were swept out and drowned. Locals said the rip was not particularly strong, but the parents panicked and were overwhelemed.
I wish I could say this was a rare event, but sadly, drowning is commonplace on our coasts. But it is a timely reminder for those of us In Oz, and those thinking about visiting Oz, that a little bit of care should always be exercised at the beach. If you have grown up swimming at the beach, are a frequent visitor and never come up close and personal with one of the drownings that take place on average every 2 to 3 days on our beaches in summer, then it is easy to be complacent.
Even very strong swimmers can get in to trouble in the blink of an eye and understanding what a rip is, how it works and what to do if you meet one face to face is the difference between the best swim of your life and the last swim of your life.
Take 4 minutes and 40 seconds to watch this video and if you have kids, make them watch it too. Talk to them about it and quiz them on what to do. Think long and hard about those kids who will grow up without their parents, and the many parents who will grow old without their kids. Don't let it be you.
And then go back to whatever else you were doing before I got all preachy and scary.
Monday, 25 January 2010
don't get sucked in by the rip...