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Beach Safety Info & Beach Rules From Visit South Walton

October 1, 2021 by SoWal Staff

Important Beach Safety Info from Visit South Walton

Committed to Beach Safety Every Day - For Gulf conditions and flag updates, text "SAFETY" to 31279.


 *​Entering the Gulf during double red flag conditions can result in a $500 fine and criminal charges.

Download a Beach Safety Flyer

Lifeguard Information
Lifeguards are available at Regional Beach Accesses March 1 - October 31 with limited roving coverage year-round. Lifeguards are provided by South Walton Fire District and funded as a part of the Visit South Walton Beach Safety Program. Regional Beach Accesses include Miramar Beach, Dune Allen, Fort Panic, Ed Walline, Gulfview Heights, Blue Mountain, Van Ness Butler Jr., Santa Clara and Inlet Beach.

Rip Current Information

Identify a Rip Current
- Darker color surf, indicating deeper water
- Murky brown water caused by sand stirred up on the bottom
- Smaller unorganized waves, alongside more evenly breaking waves over a sand bar
- Waves breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip current

How to Help Someone Caught in a Rip Current
- Notify a lifeguard
- Have someone call 911, give accurate landmarks
- Do not enter the water, you too will be caught in the current
- Throw them a flotation device
- Try not to lose sight of the victim

What To Do If You Are Caught in a Rip Current
- Don’t panic or swim against the current
- Relax, float with the current until it dissipates
- Swim parallel to shore and back in
- Of course, the best way to avoid a rip current is to know the surf conditions before entering the water!
- Know the conditions and watch the flags!

Follow the Walton County Beach Rules

  • - Stay Safe - Obey all beach flag warnings
  • - Leave No Trace - Items left on the beach overnight will be discarded
    • - To keep our beaches clean and safe for both marine life and beachgoers, Walton County enforces Municipal Code 22-54 (g). This code prohibits beach chairs, umbrellas, tents and other personal items from being left unattended. Items left on the beach overnight (from one hour after dusk to one hour after sunrise) will be discarded unless otherwise permitted. 
       
  • Permits Required - Vehicles, dogs and bonfires require permits
    • - To learn about vehicle or dog permits, click here.
    • - Learn more about beach bonfires here. To obtain a beach bonfire permit, click here.
  • - Sea Turtle Season - Follow rules, ordinances and laws. To learn more, click here.
  • Know Before You Go

    • - No glass containers are permitted on the beach
    • - To prevent crowding, no tents larger than 10x10 are permitted on county-owned or maintained beaches and must be set up on the top 1/3 of the beach.
    • - Please allow a 15’ setback from dunes and water’s edge for emergency vehicles
    • - No charcoal grills are permitted on the beach, propane grills may be permitted if 225 sq inches (approximately 16" x 20") or smaller.
    • - Removal of sand, water or vegetation is strictly prohibited
    • - Keep off the dunes

To view our official Beach Guide for information and safety, click here.

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