Many ocean, inland sea and lake beaches are characterized by waves breaking across a wide surf zone. On these beaches, the greatest hazard to bathers and most significant management challenge for lifeguards is arguably the presence of rip currents. These strong, narrow and concentrated offshore flows of water can quickly carry unsuspecting bathers of all swimming abilities offshore into deeper water, where they may become exhausted and begin to panic. On lifeguarded beaches, this scenario is typically pre-empted through preventative measures or by lifeguard-assisted rescue. Tragically, however, this is not always the case, particularly on beaches lacking lifeguard presence. Too often, rip currents are a factor in drowning deaths, near-miss drowning, injuries and trauma and therefore represent a serious global public hazard and health issue with significant personal, societal and economic costs [1].