Open Water Hazards: Surf – Waves, Sets & Lulls, Undertow

The open water can be a fun and enjoyable place to spend time, but the surf brings hazards that can put you and your loved ones in danger. To stay safe on, in, or near water it is important to familiarise yourself with waves, sets, lulls, and undertow.

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Beach Lifeguard Flag System

Flags are important on beaches to inform users about local information, lifeguard services and potential safety risks. Flags are not only important to people unfamiliar with the beach but also to regular beach users in relation to current and changing conditions.

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Open Water Hazards: Marine Life – Weever Fish

Should a bather or surfer be unlucky enough to step on a Weever fish the spines inflict a painful poisonous puncture wound. This can result in excruciating pain, which is at its most intense for the first two hours when the foot normally goes red and swells up.

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Personal Safety

Increasingly, our rivers, lakes, beaches and swimming pools are seen as sources of relaxation, enjoyment and leisure. However, experience has taught us that in water there are certain limits beyond which we cannot or should not safely go. There is, indeed a certain amount of knowledge of our aquatic environment that must be acquired in order to ensure personal safety.

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Blood and Circulation

The circulatory system is an organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients (such as amino acids and electrolytes), oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, and blood cells to and from the cells in the body to provide nourishment and help in fighting diseases, stabilize temperature and pH, and maintain homeostasis.

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The Respiratory System

The respiratory system is a biological system consisting of specific organs and structures used for the process of respiration in an organism. The respiratory system is involved in the intake and exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between a human and the environment.

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BLS: Adult Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (Choking)

Foreign-body airway obstruction (choking) is an uncommon but potentially treatable cause of accidental death. The common most cause of choking in adults is airway obstruction caused by food such as fish, meat, or poultry.

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Recognition of Emergency Situations

Swift recognition of a potential drowning situation is an important lifesaving skill. Training and experience can help develop it.

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Open Water Hazards: Surf – Rip Currents

Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beachgoers. They are particularly dangerous for weak or non-swimmers. Rip current speeds are typically 1-2 km/h or 2-3 feet per second. However, speeds as high as 8 km/h have been measured. Thus, rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. A study published in 2013 in Australia revealed that rips killed more people on Australian territory than bushfires, floods, cyclones and shark attacks combined.

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Open Water Hazards: Marine Life – Jellyfish

Not all types of Jellyfish are harmful but some types carry potent stinging arrangement in the tentacles which hang below the umbrella shaped body. When the swimmer comes in contact with the tentacles stinging cells are injected into the body.

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