Water safety

Little Bay is not a surf beach, but it can be dangerous and it is not uncommon for people to die here. The author of this blog is aware of four deaths in the last seven years.

Storm surge and high tide, Little Bay 20 April 2013

Storm surge and high tide, Little Bay 20 April 2013

Rough weather rip

There is a rip in rough weather. Southerly and easterly storms push water through the narrow neck and into the bay.

Rough weather rip – Little Bay

Rough weather rip – Little Bay

Water pushed into the bay (white arrow) has to return to the open ocean and a current (rip) forms to take it back out. The red arrow shows where the rip runs, and the green arrows show how to escape it – swim/ drift towards the north where the rip is weakest, then swim back to the beach at the northern end of Little Bay.

For more about rips, visit Science of the Surf (SOS) – an educational program for the general public designed to reduce the number of drownings and injuries on our beaches.

Powerful swell, 16 March 2014. Image © Peter Fagan

Powerful swell, 16 March 2014. Image © Peter Fagan

Rock fishing

Rock fishing is always dangerous, especially for those who cannot swim, do not wear lifejackets and have not been trained in rock fishing survival techniques.

There have been six rock fishing deaths on the coastline from Coogee to La Perouse including Maroubra, Malabar and Little Bay since September 2011.

To identify the causes of this high number of fatalities and identify solutions, Randwick City Council commissioned ROCK FISHING IN RANDWICK CITY SURVEY 2013 REPORT.

For tips and resources for safer recreational fishing, go to safefishing.com.au.

Getting help

If you see someone in trouble at Little Bay, there is no lifeguard. To seek help, dial 000. Be aware that your mobile phone may have no reception on the beach (especially Vodafone and Optus customers) and you may have to leave the beach to get a clear signal.

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