GULF SHORES, AL It maybe hard to tell without actually being here but these waves are five to seven feet and when they crash into shore they can knock you down or in a matter of seconds, swallow you up.
This was Branten and Marian Pedler’s first visit to Gulf Shores. “I wasn’t expecting any surf in the gulf,” says Branten, “so this is alright.”
“Five lifeguard towers along the beach is amazing,” adds Marian. “I’ve never seen that before.”
They are used to a much different kind of surf on the other side of the world. “We have big rips in Australia. They’ll take you out to sea.”
So when he got to beach, “I saw the red flag and I ask someone are you allowed to go out in the surf today. Oh yeah, it’s only when you get two red flags you’re not suppose to go.”
When it comes to knowing how to be safe in water like this he has an advantage. “He used to be a lifeguard in his youth,” says his wife.
He also has some seasoned advice. “Stay shallow for a while, get the feel of the water and you’ll find out whether you feel it’s going to take you anywhere. If you go further out and you get in a rip then it’s going to take you straight out and if you do get caught in a rip don’t panic.”
The water may be different “down under” but getting out of a rip current is the same. “Swim across the rip. Don’t try to swim against it because they go in circles. It’ll come back around.”
The surf laid down a bit by afternoon as the tide was going out but much the same conditions are expected through the weekend.