Swim Safely Under South Walton Beach Flags

September 4, 2016 by SoWal Staff

A trip to the beach should be fun and care free. But leaving common sense at home can be deadly. Millions of visitors trip to SoWal every year to enjoy our beautiful beaches, and we take beach safety seriously.

One of the first things to know about Walton County beaches is the excellent beach flag system we have. There is a flag pole in sight from nearly every foot of beach in SoWal.

Text "flag" to 31279 for regular surf condition alerts.

Here Are A Few Important Beach Safety Tips

When a red flag is flying, knee deep is too deep - dangerous rip currents can form at any time if there is a break in the sandbar.

Swim in groups and keep kids in sight at all times.

Don't drink and swim - no alcohol.

Obey the flag warning system and the direction of lifeguards.

If a double red flag is flying, the water is closed for swimming


South Walton Lifeguard Information

From March through September, lifeguards are stationed at eight main beach accesses in South Walton. These beach accesses also have parking and restroom facilities. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., lifeguards will be present at these beach accesses: Inlet Beach, Santa Clara, Van Ness Butler, Jr., Blue Mountain, Gulfview Heights, Ed Walline, Dune Allen and Miramar Beach.

See all South Walton Beach Accesses>

Please Note: Number of lifeguarded beaches, dates and times subject to change.


Rip Current Information

Identifiy 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!


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