The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is urging members of the public to be cautious near and on beaches over the next few days due to the full moon spring tide.
The NSRI issued a national safety alert warning all who use the water or beaches, or hike or angle along the coastline, of the dangers of spring tide. Bathers are reminded only to swim at beaches with lifeguards on duty and in to remain in the demarcated swimming zones marked with red and yellow flags.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon tells EWN these conditions will peak on the morning of Monday January 21 and “will bring the normal stronger currents”.
Spring tides create a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide, bringing about rough sea conditions. These tides changes cause strong rip currents which can pull swimmers far out to sea. Spring tides occur twice a month, at the time of the full moon and during the new moon.
The rough sea conditions are expected to remain the same leading up to the full moon and new moon, peaking on the days of the full moon and new moon lasting for a few days after the lunar events.
Here is a diagram depicting rip currents and how to escape if you get caught in one.