It’s the perfect setting, a cool breeze, warm sand, and waves crashing on the shore. THE OCEAN! But hey – we don’t have to tell you how magnificent the ocean is – that you already know! However, we do recommend you brush up on your ocean safety precaution skills to ensure while you’re relaxing on the beach, you are doing so in a safe manner!

Read the Signs

There are times when it is not deemed safe to swim in the ocean, perhaps due to bad weather, windy days, or when the currents are strong. When you arrive, pay attention to ALL posted signage in the areas you plan to swim. If you are swimming in an area that is protected by a lifeguard, look out for signs posted on the guard stand. These can include colored flags, and specific signage to indicate various issues that can affect swimmers, including:

  • Dangerous Shore Bank
  • Strong Current
  • High Surf
  • No Swimming
  • No Diving
  • Sudden Drop Off
  • Sharp Coral
  • Waves Break on Ledge
  • Slippery Rocks

Do not swim, or take extreme caution if you do choose to swim when any of these signs are posted.

Stay in Your Zone

Because of riptides, waves and currents the ocean can quickly become overwhelming to inexperienced swimmers. If you are not a strong swimmer, it is best to know your limits. This could mean only enjoying the ocean at knee level. No one should swim far out into the ocean and you should always be able to see land. Also, be mindful that swimming to the point you can no longer touch the bottom puts you at risk.

Safety is Always Number One

Inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket when near or in the ocean. Experienced swimmers should carry a flotation device for added support. You should NEVER swim alone or in the dark. These can both create very dangerous situations. It is best to be around others, and ideally in the vicinity of a lifeguard as well. If there is a lifeguard on duty, try to remain in their line of sight as you swim.

Watch the Water

Always be on the lookout while you are swimming. Especially near shore where the waves break, it can be easy to get swept under the surface of the water. This also means being on the lookout for changing tides, riptides, and strong currents. If you do experience trouble getting back to shore, or out of a strong current, call out for help and draw attention to yourself.

But most of all — enjoy yourself, and don’t forget the sunscreen!


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