If you feel unsafe and uncomfortable about a situation you need to go and tell an adult. You could tell mum or dad, your age manager, a friend, a police officer, a surf lifesaver, or someone else you know and trust.
Lifeguards are watching and ready to help if you get into trouble on the beach or in the water.
Important information about marine stingers can be found on the patrol hut.
The beach report signs will give you information about the beach, water, wind and weather conditions.
A yellow flag means you can swim, however, caution is required as there are potential hazards.
Red Flags means no swimming
How you can help make a difference to your planet
There are a whole heap of ways you can help look after the reef and the rainforest. You can also make a difference conserving water and energy.
- Dispose of your litter appropriately, so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean.
- If you do see rubbish out in the water, lend a helping hand and either retrieve it and dispose of it later or report it to Eye on the Reef, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s reef-monitoring program.
- Use recycling bins.
- Avoid single-use plastics (water bottles, straws and cups) wherever possible.
- Turn off the bathroom tap when you don’t need water, especially when you’re washing your hands or brushing your teeth.
- Let a parent know if you notice a leaky tap.
- Have a short shower.
- Turn off lights, fans and air-conditioners when you leave a room.
Fill in Page 6 of your Activity Workbook & you can fill in your Watersafe Activity book
To enjoy the beach it is important that you follow a number of simple steps when it comes to sun safety.
SLIP on protective clothing that:
- Covers as much skin as possible
- Is made from close weave materials such as cotton, polyester/cotton and linen
- Is dark in colour to absorb UV radiation
- If used for swimming, is made from materials such as lycra, which stays sun protective when wet.
SLOP on SPF30 or higher sunscreen that is:
- Broad spectrum and water resistant
- Applied liberally to clean, dry skin at least 20 minutes before going outside
- Reapplied every two hours
- Used with other forms of protection such as hats and shade
- Not out of date - check to see that your sunscreen has not expired
SLAP on a hat that is:
- Broad-brimmed and provides good protection for the face, nose, neck and ears
- Made with closely woven fabric
- Worn with sunglasses and sunscreen
SEEK shade by:
- Making use of trees or built shade structures, or bring your own pop-up tent or umbrellas
SLIDE on sunglasses:
- On children as well as adults
- That are close-fitting wrap-around style that meet the Australian Standard AS 1067 and provide an Eye Protection Factor EPF) of 9 or above
These are the activities to do in your work books, remember to fill in your Passport
Find out about the beach and conditions
- The size and strength of the surf
- Unpredictable rips and gutters
- Dangerous marine creatures
- The red and yellow flagged area, set up by qualified surf lifesavers and lifeguards, represent a safer place to swim than unpatrolled area
Signs that lifesavers and lifeguards use:
How do you spot a rip current?
- Deeper and/or darker water
- Fewer breaking waves
- Sandy coloured water extending beyond the surf zone
- Debris or seaweed
- Significant water movement
Can you spot the rips in the following photos?
You can survive rip currents by knowing your options:
- To reduce the chances of being caught in a rip current, always swim between the red and yellow flags.
- If you need help, stay calm, float and raise an arm to attract attention.
- To escape a rip, swim parallel to the beach.
- Always conserve your energy; the waves can assist you back to the beach.
How do waves get so big?
- Wind Strength: The stronger the wind, the bigger the swell.
- Wind Direction: The wind needs to push the waves towards the beach for there to be surf. Sometimes beaches are also protected by headlands or reefs, which stop waves from reaching the beach.
- Wind Duration or Fetch: The distance the wind has been blown over the ocean. The bigger the fetch, the bigger and cleaner the surf will be.
Three types of Breaking Waves
- Plunging or dumping waves create a hollow tube when they break. Surfers call this the ‘barrel’ or ‘tube’. Plunging waves are particularly dangerous as they can pick people up and ‘dump’ them onto shallow sandbanks or reefs with great force.
- Spilling or rolling waves are found where there are generally flat shorelines. These are generally safer types of waves. They occur when the crest breaks onto the wave face itself.
- Surging waves may never actually break as they approach the water’s edge since the water is very deep. They are commonly seen around rock platforms and beaches with steep shorelines. They are dangerous because they can appear suddenly and knock people over before dragging them back into deeper water.