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TCDC is urging people to swim between the flags and be careful of rips this summer. PHOTO: TCDC/FB

Warning over ‘dangerous’ rips in Whangamatā

Thames-Coromandel District Council is urging people to be careful in the surf this summer, with rips forming at one of the area’s most popular beaches. 

On Wednesday, council said there were some “extremely dangerous and challenging rips” in Whangamatā that have seen many swimmers get into trouble and need to be rescued.

The rips were the result of multiple large swells that have altered the beach, it said.

There is one rip directly in front of the Surf Club, and a permanent rip at Access 6.

Rips are caused by waves bringing water into shore, and the water needing a quick route out to sea. There are four main identifying features of a rip, including: criss cross water; calm patches; foamy water; and debris.

If you find yourself in a rip this summer, remember the three R’s: Relax, Raise your hand, and Ride the rip.

“We understand the beach is New Zealand’s best and most beautiful playground and we want to help you enjoy this safely,” council said in a post to its social media. 
“We urge you to swim between the flags and think before you swim. Our friendly lifeguards are here to keep you safe and answer any questions you may have.”