The waves have been quite strong lately, with a good sandbank forming at the corner at Seal Point. Whenever a good sand bank forms, the rip – the current that washes out alongside the rocks – becomes stronger as there is usually more water heading out the rip alongside the bank due to a higher differential of deep water and shallow sand bank. Combined with some spring tide conditions, the rip sometimes looked like a swirling, angry river.

Surfers love this – the rip is like a conveyor belt taking them back to the lineup, and it also means that the rip continues to scour the bottom and keep the sandbank in perfect shape.

Swimmers, however, do not love the rip so much, and often, visitors come to Cape St Francis and don’t even see the warnings and the danger signs. 

Without wishing to dramatise and make more of a big deal, there have been drownings at Cape St Francis. We all know this. That rip current is real; they are all along the beach, all 2.5 km of white sand.

On Sunday, the rip was pulling very strongly, and quite a few visitors were around enjoying the fine weather. Surfer’s parents were watching their kids surf, with most of these young surfers being good swimmers, trained at Liquid Lines, Nippers or Woodridge. Still, watchful eyes are everywhere because things can go wrong quite quickly. Chantal Shooter was one parent watching. She posted this to Facebook yesterday, referring back to Sunday, which I have conveniently copied. 

“Yesterday, 3 children got pulled in the rip at Seals, 2 adult men swam and rescued 2 of the kids and brought them to the rocks…

The 1 child was swept out a little deeper, and 2 young surfer girls came to her rescue; Abi [9y.o] shared her surfboard with the young girl, Brin [11y.o] was there to assist, and Troye towed them in…

Well done to all of you amazing kiddos who saved lives!

We [us parents] are so very proud of you all!” 

Chantal Shooter.

Surfers perform rescues at Seal Point all the time at Seals. They have surfboards as flotation devices and understand the rip, so rescues are commonplace. But, rarely, a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old perform the rescue, and it is also rare that they get recognised. So, a massive ‘well done’ to our little heroes, and thanks also to those who took the time to thank the girls on the beach afterwards at Seals and for buying them ice-creams because that’s what young heroes actually deserve.