The Year 6 students enjoyed a day in the ocean learning all about surf safety. Mia and Marianthi recount the day for us.
Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club
The Year 6 students spent the day at the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club. We did many enjoyable activities including learning how to surf, how to perform rescues, exploring the dangers of ocean conditions and having fun in the perfect weather.
We were divided into 7 groups, each group had a Life Safety instructor that helped us with all the fun activities.
We played a game called flags. Flags is a game where you lie in the sand the other way around, with your chin on your hands, and feet together, when the instructor blows the whistle you have to get up and run to get a flag. After the first round, they take away a flag so one person will be eliminated. This process continues until there is only one person left, and that person is the winner.
There is also a game called water flags. It is basically the same, except you have to run into the water and collect the flags in the water. We accidentally lost a flag in the first round and tried to find it but we couldn’t! Overall it was a fun activity to start the experience.
“ It was a really fun experience and I would like to do it again!” – Eliza
We learnt how to perform rescues during our experience at the Surf Life Saving Club. We used tubes to rescue the people in need. We only did it on the beach (for my group) but it was still fun. The people who needed to be ‘saved’ clenched their fists and waved it in the air while yelling HELP. The rescuers had to wear the tubes like a seatbelt and then pass it to their partner and tell them to put it under their armpits and in the middle of their stomach. Then the rescuer had to go behind them, clip the tube together and drag them to safety. It was really fun.
“It was fun but they were still able to give lots of information.” – Luca
With our instructors we read a book about the dangers of the ocean which included information about dangerous sea creatures. We learnt how sea creatures can be really dangerous and that some of them can actually kill you and suffocate you. We learnt what to do in the situation that you see a Blue ringed Octopus, a Blue Bottle and more.
If a Blue Bottle stings you the most important thing to do is remain calm and take off the tentacles that have wrapped around your body, which is usually your arm, the pain will last for 5 hours. To take away the pain you need hot water to put on the affected area. With a Blue Ringed Octopus, which is much worse, the Octopus will basically suffocate you and you’ll need to call 000 straight away. Sea Creatures can be really dangerous at times.
Some groups actually did see some sea creatures but no Blue Ringed Octopus. One group saw a stingray, another saw a jellyfish, and I’m pretty sure more were spotted too.
“It was my first time seeing a stingray, and it was really interesting to see one.” – Thomas
Learning about Rips
In the book we also learnt about rips. We learnt how to spot them and how to get out of them. We learnt how to spot them by the discoloured water and by the water pushing out, not in. The discoloured water is caused by the sand that the rip picks up, causing it to become a greenish blue, while the rest of the water is more of a strong blue. The water pushes out so there is usually a white line of sea foam surrounding the discoloured water making it easier to see the rip.
Escaping the rip is a bit harder. Instead of swimming against the rip current, you want to swim perpendicular to it, in either direction. Rip currents are typically only 20-100 feet wide. Once you leave the rip, you need to swim at an angle away from it and towards the shore.
“I think rips are dangerous and I am glad I learnt how they work” – Amy
On the beach our instructors taught us how to surf. We laid on our boards and practiced on the sand before we went in the water. To surf you need to jump up on the board, start paddling with your hands and once the wave is right behind you hold on tight to the board and let the wave push you along. Some students needed some help but everyone had a go, which made the trip just even better.
Not many students knew how to surf or had even tried to surf before we had arrived, but now everyone knows how to surf and are very confident because everyone caught at least one good wave. Surfing was the majority of Year 6s favourite activity on the trip, because it was so fun!
“I thought learning to surf was really cool.” – Lucy
Types of Waves
As a group we also listened to our instructors describe different types of waves, they taught us which waves are suitable for things like surfing, and which waves can be dangerous. Waves are one of the most enjoyable features of the ocean, you can ride them, jump over them, dive under them, simply watch them gently roll in, or gasp as they crash and roar during a big swell. But sometimes we need to keep cautious of some, especially surging waves because you can’t hear them at all and they just suddenly appear and knock people over before dragging them back into deeper water.
Waves are created from the wind. The size and strength of a wave can also be determined by the wind. We learnt about plunging waves, which are a type of wave you would usually see on Magazine covers, only professional surfers should really be using those waves to surf. There are also surging waves and spilling waves, which are the safest types of waves that occur on calm beaches, they are great for surfing.
“I enjoyed learning about the types of waves so I know which are best to surf on and which are dangerous.” – Lily
We also did a carnival. In the carnival we did many races including board races & sand races. The first one was sand races. We had to run to a certain point, commando crawl to the next point and then get up and skip to the end. Next we had to high five the next person and then it was their turn. The next game we played was a board race. We had to paddle the board to one of the instructors, turn on the board, paddle to the next instructor and then return to the beach to high five the next person and so on. This was a really good way to end the day and a really enjoyable experience.
“I had a really fun time with my friends, and it was a great learning opportunity.” – Jonah
Thank you to the Year 6 students for sharing this story.