Ahead of reopening, we wanted to share our top tips for keeping your family safe at the beach this summer.
1. Pay attention to flags on the beach
RED & YELLOW- this marks the area that it is safe to swim, bath, bodyboard and to use inflateables. This area will also be patrolled by lifeguards.
BLACK & WHITE CHEQUERED- This marks an area used for surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding etc. Swimmers should avoid this area
RED- Do not enter the water! This indicates that the beach is closed and the sea is dangerous.
ORANGE WINDSOCK- Do not take an inflatable into the water, this indicates strong offshore winds that could carry you out to sea.
2. Check tide times You should always be aware of what the tide is doing. At low tide, our beaches can seem like large expanses of sand that go on for miles, but at high tide, they can disappear completely. You do not want to find yourself stranded and in need of help.
3. Beware of Rip Currents Powerful rip currents could easily drag swimmers, surfers and bodyboarders out to sea very quickly. If you find yourself caught in a rip current:
if you are able to, stand up and wade rather than swim
swim parallel to the shore to escape the current
yell or wave for assistance if you need help
keep hold of any floatation aids you have
4. Weever Fish Stings Weever fish have poisonous stings, they hide in the sand waiting for food. If you step on one in the water, you should make your way to a lifeguard hut where they can help you. If there is not a lifeguard near by, the common treatment is to place the foot in hot water to break down the sting. Wearing beach shoes can help avoid stings altogether
5. Don’t go out aloneMake sure someone knows where you are heading, and what time you should return.
6. If you see someone in trouble in the sea, inform a lifeguard, if one is not present, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard