SWIMMERS and shoreline anglers have been warned to be extremely cautious over the next week when strong rip currents are expected along the coastline.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said yesterday that the full moon spring tide that peaked on the 9th September would cause more extreme high and low tides.
This produced strong rip currents and put swimmers and anglers at far greater risk of being swept out to sea.
According to the NSRI, today’s full moon is the third “super moon” in succession, which will exacerbate tidal conditions.
A super moon occurs when the moon is simultaneously full and in its closest orbit to the earth.
“Spring tides bring a higher- than-normal high tide and a lower- than-normal low tide, causing stronger rip currents for a few days leading up to the full or new moon, and lasting for a few days afterwards,” NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said.
He cautioned that even swimmers wading in shallow water could find themselves trapped in a rip current – which forms suddenly – and be swept out to sea.
“Bathers caught in a rip current should not panic. They should simply stay afloat by treading water and not try to swim against the current as it will only tire them out.
“They should let the current sweep them out to sea. At their first opportunity, they should swim parallel to the beachfront until they are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore,” he said.
Anglers fishing along the shoreline were at the greatest risk as incoming waves during the high tides washed over the rocks.
“Anglers should not turn their back to the sea and should be vigilant and cautious of the wave action at all times while fishing,” Lambinon said.
The anticipated tidal conditions are coming during a period when good weather is predicted.
He urged people to swim only where lifeguards were on duty.
Shaun Gillham [The Herald 9/9/14]