The first day of December is the first day of summer here in the Southern half of the world. As the temperatures soar past 27 degrees, my cold-blooded little heart sings. Warmth, at last! I swear I have some reptile in me. Which is odd really, because I'm awful in the ocean. As a country kid who lived hours from a beach, I never grew up in that great Aussie tradition of being at the beach every weekend. Two weeks at Christmas, but that was about it. And I pretty much always just hung about in the shallows with my dad (when I was little) and sunbaking when I got older (silly girl).
So it was with morbid fascination that I watched a recent science experiment here in Oz which, through the injecting of harmless purple dye into a rip, showed the path and lifecycle of a rip in the ocean.
Check this out:
Anyone who has been caught in a rip knows that it doesn't take long before you're much further from shore than you realise (you move at a rate of about 1 metre/second) and that's when you realise you're in a rip and, if you're me, panic sets in. Which is when we swim parallel to shore (the best method out of a rip). As you can see from the rip, it doesn't just move in a straight line.
The boomerang effect of this other rip shows that even if you can't swim parallel to shore, all is not lost... 80% of rips return back to shore, so if you just lie there and take it easy (i.e. don't panic) you might be transported back to shore safe and sound.
Provided a shark doesn't snap you up!