The Pull of a Rip

Rip currents are hard to understand unless you’ve experienced one. This activity helps you get your head around them.

RNLI The Pull Of A Rip activity slides
  • 15 minutes
  • Optional: display equipment
  • Optional: printer
  • Float

People can struggle to understand the force of a rip current unless they’ve had the unfortunate experience of ending up in one. Through a personal account and physical demonstration, this activity aims to enlighten students, while teaching them essential lifesaving information about how to respond if they get caught in one.

Tell me more

The physical demonstration of this activity requires space, so a clear classroom or sports hall offers the best environment to deliver this activity.

Ask students if any of them have heard of – or experienced – a rip current, before using the presentation to explain them. 

The takeaway message is that the best way to avoid rips is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags – which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the present conditions.

For more information on rip currents, visit our rips safety page.

Curriculum links: 

  • England KS3, PSHE Health & Wellbeing
  • Northern Ireland KS3, LLW, Personal Development
  • Republic of Ireland SPHE, Personal Safety
  • Scotland Third & Forth Level, PSE / HWB
  • Wales KS3, Health and emotional well-being 

What to do next