The monthly full moon spring tide peaks with the full moon on Wednesday 14th of December and continues until the 19th of December.
Spring Tides happen twice a month and lasts for a few days over each full moon and each new moon, peaking on the day of the full moon and new moon.
The twice-monthly spring tides bring higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides. Additionally, stronger than usual rip currents often occur around these times and can be especially dangerous to swimmers.
Rip currents are caused by water flowing in towards the beach over shallow water or sandbanks as waves. For the water to get back out to sea it often forms a rip (river of water) between two sand banks or any other structure in the water.
How to spot a rip current:
(Courtesy of NSRI)
•A break in the incoming pattern of waves
•Water in a surf zone that is a different colour (often darker) to the surrounding water
•Seaweed, bubbles or debris moving out to sea through the surf zone
•Isolated turbulent and choppy water in the surf zone
According to the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) when you are caught in a rip current:
DO NOT PANIC.
Swim slowly parallel to the shoreline or relax and let the current carry you out past the breakers until it slacks, and then swim parallel to the shore before using the waves to carry you back to the beach.
Float on your back and wave one arm for help.
Rip currents will not pull you under water. So long as you float you will be safe, until you can escape the flow and head back to the beach. Maintain a slow and relaxed swimming pace until you reach the shore or assistance arrives.
A few extra tips:
•Talk to the lifesavers about rip currents before getting in the water.
•NEVER swim alone.
•Discuss rip currents and how to deal with them with your children.
•Only swim on beaches where lifesavers are on duty.
•Make sure that your local Sea Rescue telephone number is in your phone.
Sea Rescue information:
Emergency Numbers: http://www.nsri.org.za/emergency-numbers/
For more information on rip current have a look at the following video: