"The Rip", also known as "The Heads", is the narrow waterway entrance connecting the Bass Strait to Port Phillip in southern Victoria, Australia. Because of large tidal flows through the relatively narrow channel from Port Phillip to the ocean, and a high rocky seabed, The Rip is a dangerous stretch of water and has claimed many ships and lives.
Geographically, The Rip is the roughly triangular area of water between the land points of Point Nepean on the Mornington Peninsula, Shortlands Bluff and Point Lonsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula, with these three forming The Heads.
There are many dive sites in the area of The Rip (The Heads), e.g. Port Phillip Heads Shipwreck Dives, and Melbourne divers need to understand the water movements and tidal flows to safely dive these sites.
The Rip & Tides Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive within "The Rip" (aka "The Heads"). This is a dangerous stretch of water, where Bass Straight meets Port Phillip, which has claimed many ships and lives. Please read the warnings on the web page Diving Near The Rip before diving or snorkelling this site.
Download/read the 2021 Victorian Tide Tables (Adobe PDF | 6.65 MB) — November 2020.
The Rip is a part of the greater Port Phillip Heads area which is a Designated Hazardous Area. Port Phillip Heads means all the waters between an imaginary line drawn between Shortland Bluff and Point Nepean, and the seaward limits of an imaginary line consisting the arc of a circle with a radius of three nautical miles centred on Point Lonsdale (as indicated in red above). This definition of Port Phillip Heads now includes the area at the entrance to Port Phillip where conditions are known to present additional risks to vessels operating there. Port Phillip Heads and any area of State waters declared by the Safety Director is classified as a Designated Hazardous Area. For more see transportsafety.vic.gov.au/msv/heads
The defined area is shown in the diagram below:
LIFEJACKET WEAR IS MANDATORY IN THE RED AREA