Rip current at Waikawa Beach

View of the sea from along a beach track.

A local was telling me today about their experience in January 2024 of being caught in a rip current in the sea near the south track off Reay Mackay Grove. Fortunately they were swimming with others who were able to help.

That part of the coast is very popular for having a dip, but perhaps it’s safest not to swim alone.

Surf Lifesaving NZ say:


RELAX and float to conserve your energy.  Stay calm, relax and float. The rip current will not pull you under the water and is just taking you for a ride offshore. Try to fight the urge to swim back to shore against the current; this will use up energy that you need to stay afloat before help arrives. Most people can float for a lot longer than they can swim!

RAISE your hand to signal for help. Signal for help by putting your hand up to attract attention from lifeguards, surfers or someone on the beach who can get help.

RIDE the rip until it stops and you can swim back to shore or help arrives. Remain floating until the current weakens. Many rips will circulate and bring you back into shallower waters closer to the shore where you may be able to stand. When the current has subsided, and only if you are sure you can swim to the nearest point on the shore, should you attempt to swim to safety.

They also have information at the link above about how to recognise a rip.

Waikawa News @WaikawaNews