This mesmerising whirlpool is as deadly as it is beautiful.
The image was taken by paraglider Scott Patman in Western Australia, just south of Perth, on Friday.
It made its way onto Dr Rip’s Science of the Surf Facebook page, where it has earned over 100 likes.
Scott Patman's image was taken as he paraglided above a beach in Western Australia
Dr Rob Brander, who describes himself as a “surf scientist” and beach safety educator from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, explains:
"Some crazy rip action in Western Australia south of Perth. Giant swirls heading off the beach. Looks like you can get sucked into one! Well, they look worse than they are... When you get big, clean swell hitting the beach at a strong angle, you get strong longshore currents that can peel offshore forming eddies. Very impressive though."
Getting caught in a rip current can be dangerous as swimmers can easily be swept from shallow water out beyond their depth. (Scroll down for an education video by the University of New South Wales, in which Dr Brander reveals a rip current can flow out to sea "even faster than Olympic swimmers".)
Advice from Britain's RNLI Lifeboats charity is to obey the "three Rs", which are to relax, swimming across the current, not against it, raise an arm to signal for help and rescue. "Float and wait for assistance. Do not panic; people drown in rips because they panic."
WATCH: How to avoid and survive rip currents
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