Campaign to save swimmers
THE importance of the new campaign by lifeguards to increase awareness of rips can't be overstated.
We must all pass the message on. And it's especially timely now.
The blessing of some warm weather returning after weeks of rain can come at a price.
If you're lucky enough to find yourself on a stretch of beach with little or no-one else around, think very carefully before going for a swim.
As alluring and tempting as it might seem to have a stretch of Diggers Beach all to yourself or your family for example, swimming alone or in a small group can lead to disaster.
The statistics on rips - as shown on today's front page - are frightening.
More Australians drown as a result of being pulled beyond the breakers in a rip than those killed by bushfires, floods, cyclones and tsunamis combined.
And when you consider 90 percent of rescues on patrolled beaches are the result of people being caught in rips, swimming alone really doesn't make sense - statistically at least.
The public education will continue, new beach signage will be introduced and surf board riders will be recruited to hammer the message home.
Help spread the word.