I was dismayed to read the statement in Thursday's edition (January 4) by Mangonui Chief Fire Officer Antony Pedersen that "Cable Bay was not known as dangerous".
Cable Bay is a very complex beach, and some parts are definitely prone to rips. Recognising them is key, though they can form at any time.
I just copied this from Wikipedia: "A rip current, often referred to simply as a rip, or by the misnomer rip tide, is a specific kind of water current which can occur near beaches with breaking waves. However, a rip can often be hard to see and absent from breaking waves, and only recognised by a ripple on the top of the water that heads out to sea."
Any drowning is a tragedy, but being aware of potential hazardous conditions is a good first step in preventing more of them.