SWFD Lifeguards Report to the Beach for 2013 Season
March 9, 2013 by SoWal Staff
South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards have completed spring training and will report to designated beach access locations on Saturday March 9, 2013. From March through September, lifeguards are on duty and providing beach safety and protection from 10am to 6pm at these beach accesses: Inlet Beach, Santa Clara, Van Ness Butler, Jr., Blue Mountain, Gulfview Heights, Ed Walline, Dune Allen and Miramar Beach.
See lifeguarded beach accesses at South Walton Beach and Parks Guide for photos, video, features, location and maps.
See all accesses and parks at South Walton Beach and Parks Guide to explore all the unique places along the beach and bay.
Know before you go! Some beach safety tips to keep your family safe:
- Pay attention to the beach flags and if you are unsure whether it’s safe to enter the gulf, check with a lifeguard or stay near the shore.
- Sign up for beach flag updates: text “FLAG” to 67463 to receive regular updates.
- If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t panic or swim against the current. Relax, float with the current until it dissipates, then swim parallel to shore and back in. The best way to avoid a rip current is to know the surf conditions before entering the water. See rip current info and video.
- Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and kayak users should always be very cautious as the winds and currents can push you away from shore and out past the second sandbar very quickly. It can be difficult to return to shore and very easy to capsize if you get side on to the wind. Use your SUP leash, use flotation devices, stay hydrated and seek training.
- If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t panic or swim against the current. Relax, float with the current until it dissipates, then swim parallel to shore and back in. The best way to avoid a rip current is to know the surf conditions before entering the water.
- Do not dig holes more than a foot deep. Even small holes are a safety hazard and should be filled in when you leave the beach. Holes cause injury to people walking on the beach at night and can also impede, and even trap and kill sea turtles trying to nest.
- Remove all trash and keep SoWal beaches clean for nesting sea turtles and the safety of beachgoers. Remove all personal items, chairs, umbrellas, tents and beach toys from the beach each day. Any personal belongings left on the beach overnight will be removed and discarded per Walton County ordinance.
- Protect the dune system and use designated walkovers to get to the beach. The dunes are fascinating, beautiful and serve as a protective barrier during storms. Please stay off the dunes and do not pick sea oats per State of Florida statutes.
- Remember to apply sunscreen liberally and often! Have plenty of water on hand and stay well hydrated out on the beach.
- Observe wildlife from a distance and do not disturb sea turtle nests or sea life. If you see a an injured pelican or heron, or come acros a stranded sea mammal contact Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (850) 650-1880.
- Be considerate of others on the beach. Loud music is disturbing to some who are relaxing to the sound of nature.
- Dogs are allowed only by permit (residents) and during certain hours in early morning and evening.
Read and follow all beach rules and regulations.
South Walton uses the official flag warning system established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The flag colors signify surf conditions. If red flag conditions are present, knee deep is too deep, so cooling down is limited to the waters edge. When double red flags are flying, the water is closed for swimming. The purple flag is added when marine pests are present and swimmers should watch out for jellyfish.
Look for the flag and Beach Warning Flags sign at the beach access entrance. Current flag conditions are posted daily at SWFD website. Sign up for beach flag notifications by texting “FLAG” to 67463 to receive regular updates.
Refer to South Walton Beach Safety Guide often for lifeguard locations, all beach accesses with photos and video, beach safety tips, rules and regulations.
Stay safe, relax and discover South Walton Beaches.