Beach Safety Tips - Staying Safe on SoWal Beaches
April 24, 2012 by SoWal Staff
We're committed to helping our visitors and locals stay safe while enjoying our beautiful beaches. Here are some tips to help keep you safe at the beach.
Never swim alone, always swim at beaches with lifeguards! Talk with a lifeguard before entering the water. Lifeguards are familiar with the beach and can tell you about conditions.
Know how to swim and know your limitations! Swimming in a pool is NOT the same as swimming at a beach with crashing waves, winds and currents that can change suddenly.
Swimming in currents and waves is much more difficult than swimming in a pool. The conditions of the currents and waves can change quickly unlike in a pool where there is consistency. Swimming in currents and waves will also cause fatigue more quickly than swimming in a pool.
Smooth water located between breaking waves could signal the presence of a rip current. Ask the lifeguard about the use of a United States Coast Guard approved flotation device. Also, your body will cool quickly while in the water. Limit your time in the water and get out if you start to feel cold.
Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. Different beaches may use different colors but a commonly used series include:
Double Red: Beach is closed to the public
Single Red: high hazard, e.g., strong surf or currents
Yellow: medium hazard
Green: Calm conditions although caution is still necessary
Purple: Flown with either Red or Yellow: Dangerous marine life, but not sharks.
Take your cell phone to the beach. In case of an emergency, where the lifeguard is not present, call 911.