Saturday 8 November 2008

Rip Tides around Samui

Rip Tides around Samui

Rip tides and rip currents are a recurrent, seasonal happening and you should be aware of them and know how to safely get out of them.
Last year I already reported about them, since now is the start of the rainy season and the rip tides and undertows start to pop again, it's a good time for a quick reminder.

These signs are posted all over Chaweng Beach and many resorts have a colour coded flag system to signal if the beach is swimmable or not. A red flag means a no go!

Regarding the rip currents, if you get caught up in one, don't fight it! Instead, swim to the side of the current and the water will quiet down again or let your self be taken out, away from the beach and than swim back again along the side of the rip.
Another problem are undertows. Be aware of them and deal with them in the right way! Undertow (often and incorrectly used for a rip current) is a strong subsurface flow of water returning seaward from the shore resulting usually from wave action.
Victims of undertows typically tend to be the elderly, who just don't have the strength to fight them.
Each year on both sides of Thailand, the Gulf side (roughly from November to February) and the Andaman side (roughly from May to August), too many people die because of these phenomenas and many times it can be avoided by first of all following the warning signs, the red flags (!) and abide to them and secondly, by knowing what to do if caught up in a rip!
Here's a very good link to Tezza's beach blog with tips how not to drown during your holidays!
Nonetheless, enjoy your stay on Samui.

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