Beach Safety and the Flag System
There are several things the public can do in order to stay safe at the beach during the summer. One of the most important things beach goers need to do is SWIM AT A GUARDED BEACH!!! The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) has calculated the chance that a person will drown while attending a beach protected by USLA affiliated lifeguards at 1 and 18 million. Some additional safety suggestions and questions to ask yourself are listed below.
1. KNOW YOUR BEACH:
a) Is there life saving equipment?
b) Is there an emergency phone?
c) Are there signs posted about dangerous currents?
d) What are the lifeguard hours?
e) Do you know how to use the Flag system (if there is one)?
d) Are there any piers or breakwalls you need to stay away from?
-Rip currents can develop even under low risk conditions near shoreline structures.
2. BE PREPARED:
a) Can you swim? If not, do you have a lifejacket?
c) Do you have a cell phone and do you have service?
d) In the event of an emergency, do you know how to describe your location?
e) In the event of an emergency, do you know HOW to use the rescue equipment?
3. KNOW THE LAKE AND WEATHER CONDITIONS EXPECTED FOR THE DAY:
a) Are there any thunderstorms or dangerous weather expected for the afternoon?
c) When in doubt, don't go out!
For other safety information, see the National Rip Current Page or the National Beach Hazards Page! One of the safest things people can do is to stay aware, and be educated about the hazards in the lakes/oceans. Knowing how to escape or react in emergency situations can help save your life and the life of others.
The Flag System
PLEASE NOTE: A LOW RISK DOES NOT MEAN NO RISK. Rip currents can still develop near piers or breakwalls under seemingly benign conditions.