Wherever possible, find a beach that is patrolled – be prepared (findabeach.co.nz) and stay between the flags.
Listen to the advice of lifeguards or locals.
Always keep a close eye on children in or near the water.
Get a friend to swim with you – never swim or surf alone.
Watch out for that rip – rips are calm, deep patches of water close to shore that can sometimes have waves breaking to the side. Rippled, discoloured or foamy water with debris can also mean there is a rip present.
Don’t overestimate your or your children’s ability to cope in the conditions. Even waist deep water can be life-threatening if you step in a hole or get hit by a large wave.