There's no place on earth like Australia, especially their beaches. However, if you plan on visiting the country and checking out their beaches, then you'll want to know how to be safe in the water. With that said, below are a few helpful tips on how to be safe swimming in Australian waters.
Swim By Lifeguards
Most public beaches in Australia have lifeguards staffing them, keeping an eye on swimmers and helping them out with various things. You need to swim within clear view of lifeguards. Before you place down your belongings, have a look around to see where the nearest lifeguard station is and if you can't see it, then move to a different spot. Swimming by lifeguards will give you peace of mind, and you will be saved quicker due to the lifeguards being able to respond faster.
Don't Swim Alone
If you're not a strong swimmer, then it's a good idea to only go in the water with someone else. You don't want to swim alone in Australian waters because the currents are often unpredictable. The last thing you want to happen is to get stuck in a bad position which requires a lot of strength while swimming. Even if you're a strong swimmer, still bring someone with you. It's always better to be safe than unnecessarily risk your life.
Know What To Do In A Rip Current
Rip currents can occur anywhere, but they primarily occur in many beaches throughout Australia. Rip currents can easily drag you out to sea, and various factors play a role in how rip currents behave. One thing all rips have in common is that they can put your life in danger.
If a rip current occurs and you get stuck in it, then swim parallel to the beach. Swim right into the part where the waves break. Once you get to a certain point, you should be able to escape the rip. If you can't get out, then raise an arm and wave it around to get the attention of a lifeguard.
Be Careful Of Jellyfish
There are many species of jellyfish in the waters of Australia, which is why you'll want to watch out for them, regardless of which beach you're at. However, certain types are found in abundance in Northern Australia, so if you're in that area, then be as conscious as possible. You do not want to be stung by a deadly jellyfish and not know what to do. It's best to avoid going near them.
If you are stung, then get help right away. Find a lifeguard and tell them you've been stung. They will likely take a look at the sting and give you something to help you.
Protect Against The Sun
Do not underestimate how harsh the Australian sun is and don't assume that it won't burn you because you're in the water. Invest in a high-quality sunscreen and apply it regularly, especially if you spend much time in the water. It is easy to quickly get burnt by the sun, even if you're in the water. Remember, sunburns can be deadly, especially in a place like Northern Australia, Western Australia and other areas when the sun is at its peak (the summer). It would also help greatly if you will bring with you a beach tent.
Here's a tip, every time you go into the water, apply sunscreen. When you get out, reapply it. Do this even if your sunscreen is waterproof. Trust us when we say it's better to be safe than sorry, and it doesn't take that long to get burnt.
Read Safety Signs
There are safety signs at almost all public beaches in Australia. Many tourists ignore them or don't bother reading them, or they read them and don't take the warnings seriously. Always take the warnings seriously and always consider what the safety signs are saying. For example, there might be shark warnings, and it's recommended to wait to go swimming, and if that's the case, then it's advisable to wait to go in the water.
Other things a sign might warn you about are rough turfs and shallow waters. Rip currents and submerged rocks might be other warnings. As previously mentioned, you want to take the safety signs seriously because they could very well save your life.
Are there red and yellow flags present at the beach you're at? If so, then swim in between them. These flags have been placed there for a reason, so don't swim outside of the boundary; otherwise, you could find yourself in a deadly situation.
Always take the time to read safety signs and take preventative measures by using sunscreen. Learn what to do in a rip current, be careful of jellyfish and don't swim alone. Swimming by lifeguards is a good idea too. If you do those things, then you'll be doing a lot to keep yourself safe swimming in Australian waters.