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Safety Tips

Beach and Ocean Safety Tips

The following safety precautions and rules will help swimmers and beach goers while visiting our city. Before you step foot in the water, check the flag rating system or consult with a lifeguard about ocean conditions.

Runouts

A runout forms when water is trying to get past a shallow sandbar. The water finds a weak spot in the sandbar and breaks through. To avoid being caught in a runout, always swim in front of a lifeguard in waist deep water or less. If caught in a runout:

  • Do not panic!
  • Do not swim against the runout.
  • Let the flow pull you out to sea - a runout will not pull you under, only outward.
  • Once it has taken you out to its capacity, calmly swim with the current parallel to the beach.
  • When you are out of the force of the outward flow, swim toward shore.

Currents

Swimmers who are not familiar with currents may enter the ocean for a swim and end up blocks away from where they started. These currents often move swimmers into dangerous areas. It is a good idea to spot a landmark where you entered the water and keep an eye on it while you swim. Always swim in front of a lifeguard and in waist-deep water or less.

Jellyfish & Man-o-War

While jellyfish stings can be very uncomfortable, a man-of-war sting can be dangerous. In severe cases, paralysis or shock may occur, making medical attention imperative. A man-of-war is turquoise in color, looks like a balloon, and has very long tentacles.

If you see a man-of-war while swimming, get as far away from it as possible. Remember that its tentacles are very long. If you are stung by a man-of-war go directly to a lifeguard.

Dehydration & Sunburn

Dehydration & sunburns occur quickly and without warning. To avoid these hazards:

  • Drink plenty of fluids before and during sun exposure.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Use highly protective sunscreen.
  • Bring protective clothing and an umbrella.
  • Avoid the midday sun, which is most intense.

Eye Protection

It's important to remember eye protection at the beach, a long day of exposure to the sun can damage your eyes. Purchase glasses that have a UV sticker or tag indicating that the glasses provide protection from ultra violet rays.

Lightning

Never swim when lightning or a storm is approaching the area. Get out of the water immediately!

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