Most tourist drownings inwards Thailand involve people caught inwards RIP CURRENTS on pop beaches. Phuket as well as large Ko Chang conduct hold the worst records, but rip currents tin occur anywhere in that location is a surf running. All that H2O heading beachwards has to instruct dorsum out to sea somehow, as well as that is the rip current.
Waves inwards Thailand are to a greater extent than a moisture flavour thing, during as well as after periods of prolonged rigid winds. Waves are absent to real modest 99% of dry out season.
Inexperienced people finding themselves shooting out to sea inwards a rip electrical current seek out to swim against it, instruct exhausted, conduct hold inwards water, as well as drown.
THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Anyone who tin simply tread water, allow solitary swim, should never drown inwards a rip.
First DON’T PANIC.
Surfers purpose rips all the fourth dimension to conduct hold them “out the back” to the take-off zone. They don’t fifty-fifty conduct hold to swim. I propose miserable swimmers practice just the same. ALL rips dissipate inwards the deeper H2O just behind the moving ridge breaking zone. They conduct hold done their job, as well as practice non go further. The longest rip I conduct hold always seen went 400 meters from the shore inwards a HUGE SURF, much bigger than anything Thailand gets. Most rips final for 100-150m. Once you lot are out inwards the calmer H2O yesteryear the intermission zone, tread water, position upward your mitt as well as hold off for someone amongst a longtail to pick you lot up.
Treading H2O is a minimal endeavor activity, something the average individual could practice for mayhap 24 hours inwards Thailand earlier dehydration becomes a employment (the H2O is likewise warm for hypothermia). Hell, fifty-fifty TT Thailand’s svelte-challenged as well as lethargy-enhanced mr. nasty as well as large fourth dimension plagiarist of this blog, Singapore Slim (all names changed to protect the guilty) would likely final to dinner time, when the smell of chips as well as gravy would strength a do-or-die dash for the shore.
DON’T TRY TO SWIM AGAINST THE RIP. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 the world champion volition go backwards against a rigid rip. All but real jibe swimmers volition instruct exhausted swimming against fifty-fifty gentle rips.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT SHARKS – tens of thousands of surfers as well as body of body of water swimmers inwards Commonwealth of Australia as well as other much sharkier places than Thailand individually pass hundreds of hours yearly swimming as well as surfing without worries. Hell, I’ve never heard of a shark laid upward on inwards Thailand, except inwards that heap of nonsense mass yesteryear Alex Garland.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT UNDERTOWS – in that location is no such things equally a rip which volition drag you lot under, allow solitary maintain you lot under.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT WAVES BREAKING ON YOUR HEAD – rip currents movement out thru the deeper channels betwixt sandbars – waves intermission inwards shallow H2O (largely on the sandbars) therefore these deeper channels oft conduct hold no waves or few waves. If i does come upward when you lot are inwards the rip, conduct hold a breath, dive downwards or duck your head. You are gonna pop upward on the other side – that breath guarantees it.
THE OLD SWIM SIDEWAYS TRICK.
Surf-lifesavers inwards Commonwealth of Australia nation if you lot are caught inwards a rip, SWIM SIDEWAYS TO THE RIP (parallel to the beach). Even large rips are never to a greater extent than than nigh 30m across, therefore you lot volition presently movement out of the electrical current as well as hopefully into the shallow H2O of the sandbar where you lot tin stand**.
I intend this is goodness advice for people who are non exhausted as well as who get-go swimming sideways immediately. Wait likewise long as well as you lot are probable to terminate upward on the sandbar but inwards deeper water, unable to stand upward up, to a greater extent than exhausted yesteryear the swim as well as amongst large waves breaking on your head, which tin survive pretty frightening for the inexperienced. I reckon it is much cooler to allow the rip to conduct hold you lot seaward, as well as therefore float unopen to out the dorsum waiting for someone to pick you lot up. It’s prissy out there.
HOW TO SPOT Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 RIP CURRENT.
*Look for the sections where no waves or fewer waves are breaking (note what a trap this is for the inexperienced: “this looks safe, NO WAVES, I’ll swim here”
*Big rips oft scour sand equally they go as well as hold off sandy.
*When the current of air is blowing inwards the reverse direction, the surface of the rip is oft disturbed as well as choppy looking.
Note however, many rips are real hard to spot from beach or H2O level.
SOME OTHER FACTS ABOUT RIP CURRENTS
*The bigger the surf, the stronger the rip – in that location is to a greater extent than H2O to movement dorsum out to sea.
*Rips are strongest at depression tide when all that H2O has to movement through a shallower channel; as well as in that location is a greater quantity of H2O to movement out because the waves breaking on the shallower sandbars tend to survive bigger as well as to a greater extent than frequent.
*At the ends of beaches in that location is commonly a rip running along at to the lowest degree i of the headlands, mayhap both if the swell is coming inwards just front-on to the beach (most swell has a slightly oblique angle of approach).
*A longish beach similar Patong or Karon typically has to a greater extent than than a one-half dozen sandbars separated yesteryear channels containing rip currents if surf is running.
*Rips are fed yesteryear FEEDER CURRENTS, which run parallel to the beach just off the sand, inwards the (usually small) channel betwixt the sandbar as well as the beach. These feeders instruct stronger equally they approach the large channel betwixt the sandbars, where they plow correct angles as well as caput out to sea equally a total blown rip. Sometimes FEEDER CURRENTS are rigid plenty towards their ends to drag non/poor swimmers sideways into the rip proper.
Don’t confuse FEEDER CURRENTS amongst CROSS DRAG as well as TIDAL CURRENTS which operate farther from the beach.
CROSS DRAG or SIDE DRAG:
Most waves approach the beach at a slightly oblique angle – ie non just parallel amongst the beach. This sets upward a sideways electrical current (parallel to the beach) known equally the LONGSHORE CURRENT, LONGSHORE DRIFT or colloquially, SIDE DRAG, which tends to survive located out nigh the intermission zone.
Usually this electrical current is non strong, as well as gives no problems, but if the swell approaches at a bigger angle to the beach as well as is big, it tin survive powerful plenty to drag swimmers sideways off the sand-bar, as well as into the rip electrical current inwards the following channel. It tin also survive powerful plenty to drag the swimmer thru the rip-current as well as go along on its merry agency downwards the beach.
No problems, just brand sure as shooting you lot are non silent inwards the rip-current channel (wait ’til the waves are biggest) as well as and therefore swim towards shore. The waves volition attention launder you lot in.
If you lot are a miserable swimmer as well as don’t similar the persuasion of getting pounded yesteryear breaking waves, just cruise on downwards the beach as well as hold off for someone to haul you lot out amongst a boat. Or swim out to sea a bit, you lot volition movement out of the side drag as well as remain inwards the i spot.
If you lot are a NON SWIMMER as well as instruct swept sideways off the sandbar, you lot are gunna drown. But you lot should conduct hold been nowhere nigh the intermission zone, which is commonly a fair agency from shore. Non swimmers should never go inwards to a greater extent than than thigh deep inwards whatever surf, as well as fifty-fifty as well as therefore should survive aware of the FEEDER CURRENTS mentioned before.
ARE ALL BEACHES DANGEROUS IN WET SEASON?
Because rigid winds inwards Thailand’s moisture flavour come upward from the western quadrant, it is commonly the WESTWARD FACING BEACHES where the swell tin instruct up, creating sizable surf as well as unsafe currents.
So unless you lot are an adept at swimming inwards large surf, you lot should avoid such conditions. If you lot desire to cool down, don’t instruct out to a greater extent than than thigh deep (I’ve flora it hard to walk against a rigid rip or side drag inwards fifty-fifty waist deep water. Sometimes it tin survive hard to fifty-fifty remain on your feet).
Good tidings is that oft winds are benign inwards moisture flavour as well as the swell stays real small. It’s pretty prophylactic to swim on these westward facing beaches inwards these conditions, although inwards whatever surf in that location volition survive some type of outward current. There tin also survive the less troublesome TIDAL CURRENTS I trace later, specially along whatever fringing reef as well as headland. So silent survive aware.
Another option is to seek an isle amongst EASTERN FACING BEACHES. These beaches are sheltered from the western winds as well as swell of moisture season. Unfortunately, to a greater extent than beaches inwards the pop Andaman confront WEST than due east – eg all the goodness beaches on Phuket, Lanta, Jum. There are prissy eastern facing beaches on Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, Ko Kradan, Ko Bulon Lae, Ko Taratao, Ko Lipe.
Away from the Andaman, in that location are prissy eastern facing beaches on Phangan*, Samui*, Tao*, as well as Samet. The northern beaches at Mak as well as Ko Whai nigh large Chang are also pretty sheltered inwards moisture season.
Sadly all of large Chang’s goodness beaches confront due west into the current of air as well as swell.
Eastern facing beach areas tin survive dependent acre to TIDAL CURRENTS, described below.
* ThornTree poster dearsirsam also points out that when the north-east trades instruct upward on isle similar Samui, Phangan as well as Tao, therefore likewise does the swell, as well as you lot tin instruct rip-currents at these beaches. Fortunately inwards my sense this does non hand off likewise often, mainly inwards the months October thru Dec, but survive aware. People conduct hold drowned at Thong Nai Pan. And at Hat Rin (and away from the drunken political party times).
When the tide rises as well as falls, H2O moving into as well as out of narrow inlets as well as passages betwixt islands, as well as over shallow reefs, lawsuit inwards TIDAL CURRENTS. These tend to survive strongest mid-tide as well as commonly run parallel to shore.
In places amongst HUGE tides, they tin survive awesome, running at 30km+, amongst associated vortexes (whirlpools) as well as standing waves of 2m where rigid winds blow against them.
In Thailand, the tidal attain is non huge as well as therefore these currents are non all that rigid – equally a affair of fact they are goodness for a no-effort (no request to swim or kick) drift along the border of a fringing reef checking the coral as well as fish. When you lot instruct tired of that, you lot swim into the beach, walk dorsum upward to the starting point, as well as repeat equally needed.
However, I conduct hold seen a few Thai tidal currents which would survive hard for a poorer swimmer to swim against. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 Brit guy i time told me he flora himself beingness carried along the headland at the due south of Hat Rin as well as had a hell of a fourth dimension getting dorsum to the beach. At i phase he persuasion he would non brand it.
I reckon miserable swimmers should non try. Swim inwards to the rocks as well as rock-hop back. If this looks likewise hard (sometimes hauling yourself out of the H2O inwards rocky areas is nigh impossible) swim OUT into deeper water. The tidal currents practice non run here. Then swim dorsum to the beach inwards stages, amongst periodic tread-water rests when needed. Or hold off for someone amongst a boat.
After all this depressing materials nigh drowning it’s fourth dimension for some LIGHT RELIEF, folks:
– **A few years dorsum I saw a daughter amongst the smallest bikini inwards the the world enter the H2O inwards what I considered a risky spot at i of my local beaches. Sure enough, she got caught inwards a rip. She stuck her mitt high inwards the air which is the signal for attention inwards Australian surf.
I just had to haul this lady out personally. Trouble is a skin-diver resting on the following headland rocks figured the same thing. BIG RACE – he had the fins for speed, I had the rip for velocity. I was winning, as well as solely fifteen meters from the girl, when of a abrupt she stood upward as well as walked away! Wise daughter had done the sideways-swim push clit a fast i on onto a shallow sand-bar.
– One fourth dimension I was board-riding Queensland’s Alexander Bay inwards a large nasty surf. Alexander Bay is pop amongst surfers as well as NUDISTS. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 daughter got caught inwards a rip as well as equally I paddled across my heart as well as soul leapt – she was totally gorgeous as well as would presently survive spread-eagled on my board!
She also turned out to survive the solely daughter on the beach wearing swimmers.
Stone the crows trendsetters, sometimes I intend Hui, the God of Surf, has a personal grudge against me. And non solely inwards the surf.
Like the fourth dimension I was doing 130 on the Coolangatta by-pass as well as the board-racks, containing my total quiver of five boards, flew off the roof as well as was run-over yesteryear a tour bus.
Or when I gave a elevator from Byron Bay to Sydney to a posse of surfer-groupies who had run out of coin to instruct home. Going thru Ballina, they stuck their cute bare arses out the windows at a twosome of cops doing roadside radar duty. The cops radioed their mates downwards the road, who pulled me over, gave the girls a lecture as well as me five defect notices for the tezza-waggon. Jeez, judge plant inwards foreign ways.
Oh yeah, some other incident which at nowadays makes me grinning but wasn’t all that funny inwards the execution, was the rescue of Johnathon Livingston Seagull from a sure as shooting watery death. You tin read abt that at the terminate of my Ko Libong information thingy on this site.
EXTRAS – Thorntree poster ALLY flora this pic of a rip at Palm Beach inwards Sydney. Note how modest the surf is. This would survive a pretty gentle rip but could silent give miserable as well as average swimmers a tough time. Note likewise how tardily it would survive to wander off the sand-bar into the deeper channel, non likewise pleasant for a non swimmer. Note how the rip dissipates “out the back”.
Ally also provided this beach-level pic of a rip. His label: “DON’T SWIM BETWEEN THE RED POINTERS!” Once i time to a greater extent than a pretty modest surf. Note how waves are non breaking inwards the channel.
And some real goodness pix, a video as well as information on rips HERE..
If you lot conduct hold whatever questions, delight inquire them inwards THE FORUM rather than below. I don’t instruct a run a jeopardy to banking concern check all threads daily, but unless I’m travelling I’ll seek out to monitor THE FORUM regularly.
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