Warm summer days, cool breeze, feeling the sand beneath your feet. Some of the many reasons why most of us love going to the beach. But don’t fool yourselves, that pleasant picture can easily turn for the worse in an instant. And I’m not talking about a bad sunburn here. So to stay safe on the beach this summer, keep in mind these helpful tips.
1. Always Watch the Lifeguard’s Flags
Know what the flags say and never neglect the warnings. Red flag means that the beach is closed for swimming, yellow – potentially dangerous conditions, and the red and yellow striped flag indicates that the area is safe for swimming. Lifeguard signs can also indicate the presence of sharks or jellyfish, so don’t forget to take a look at the flags.
2. Learn How to Swim
Don’t go in the ocean if you don’t know how to swim. It is a lot different compared to swimming in your backyard pool. The ocean hides many dangers like strong surf, rip currents and many more, so don’t be too confident.
3. Steer Clear of Rip Currents
A rip currents, or simply – rip, is a strong current that may appear suddenly and move straight away from the shoreline out to the open sea. Bear in mind that rip currents can also appear even in shallow waters. They are number one threat for swimmers in Australia so if you’re planning to go to the beach, know how to keep yourself and those around you safe.
So always be mindful of rip currents. Watch both the flags and the water. A sure sign for a rip current is an off-coloured water that extends from the shoreline. And if you do get pulled in, don’t get panicked. Conserve your energy and don’t try to fight it. Instead, let it take you in and carry you for a while, breathe, and swim horizontally to the shoreline. Once you’re free, swim diagonally to the safety of the beach. If you cannot get away, wave your hands and make noise so the lifeguards can hear you. Which brings us to number four.
4. Always be Close to a Lifeguard
The majority of the incidents occur on unguarded beaches, so, as you can see, there’s good reason for lifeguards. They know how to handle situations and what to do in case of emergency so always listen to their advice.
5. Watch for Waves
In the ocean water hold tremendous power over us. The force with which waves can come down on you is huge. Injuries sustained because of strong waves vary from less serious, like sprains, to much more serious, even life-threatening ones, such as broken bones, spinal injuries and blunt organ trauma.
6. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Sunburns can cause much more that minor burn discomfort. In the worse case scenario, the strong rays of the sun can cause melanoma, or in other words – skin cancer. So it would be a good idea for you to always bring along a hat, an umbrella, some shades and sunscreen.