Emerald Coast HUB
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Helpful Tips for Beach Safety
Going to the beach is fun for everyone, but it’s important to know how to stay safe. To prevent sunburn, make sure you wear sunscreen. Even if it’s a cloudy day, the sun here in Florida can sneak through and you’ll get sunburned without even noticing. Inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets if they go into the water, and children and the elderly should have someone watching over them due to currents in the area.
Rip Current Safety
The most dangerous thing about the beach is not the sun, the rough water, or even the wildlife. Rip currents were responsible for 80% of lifeguard rescues at beaches. Rip currents are currents of water that flow away from shore and can extend past breaking waves. Because rip currents pull anything caught in them away from shore, it’s not effective to swim against the current. If you are an experienced swimmer, try swimming parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. If you don’t think you are able to do that, try to float or tread water until you are free from the current. If you don’t think either of these are possible for you, then draw attention to yourself in order for someone to know you are in trouble and in need of help. Don’t fight the current or try to swim directly into them back to shore. The reason rip currents are so dangerous is their ability to make people tired and unable to stay afloat.
Beach Safety Flags
Whenever you go to the beach, a flagpole with a solid-colored flag can usually be seen flying somewhere close, usually close to a lifeguard station. These flags indicate how safe the water conditions are for swimmers, so it’s best to know the meanings of the different colors.
- Green: Green flags indicate low threat levels, which usually means the water is in a good condition for swimming.
- Yellow: Yellow flags indicate rough conditions. This can means anything from rough surf to strong currents. The water is usually safe as long as you use caution while swimming.
- Single Red: A single red flag indicates that the water conditions are hazardous, having a strong surf, strong currents, or both.
- Double Red: Two red flags means that the water is closed to swimmers due to dangerous water conditions
- Purple and Blue: Purple and blue flags indicate that there is dangerous marine life in the area, such as jellyfish or sharks. It’s not uncommon to see these flags flying along with another flag color.
We have some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere so we definitely want people to enjoy them. Safety measures will keep your trip to the beach fun and restful!