Tips for beach safety this summer
Summer is here and along with it comes the excitement of going to the beach. The sand between your toes, the cool wind blowing against your skin and the refreshingly cool water will leave you feeling completely relaxed. However, while soaking up the sun you still need to keep an eye out. The ocean is beautiful but it can be dangerous.
Let the flags guide you
Most beaches have flags which make people aware of the dangers that may lurk beneath the surface. Knowing the meanings of these flags are the most important feature in keeping safe on the beach.
Red: Red flags strongly urge you to be careful, danger is about.
Yellow: Yellow flags indicate moderate surf and currents, the water is likely to be rough but not exceedingly dangerous.
Check the weather
Going for a swim when there is lightning about is like relaxing in the bathtub with electrical devices. Lightning and large bodies of water just don’t mix. Even if it’s sunny, check the weather before you head out. Avoid going to the beach if the forecast predicts lightning. In these cases wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder boom. Gather together your beach essentials – towel, book, your favourite duty free sunglasses, hat and sun screen. Once the weather has cleared, you can go for a swim.
Stay close to the lifeguard
Relax close to the lifeguard and when you feel the heat is getting too much, dash off to the water for a cool swim. Be aware of the currents as they naturally push you down the shore, so take note of where you started. Stay focused on a noticeable landmark that will backtrack you to where you started. Keep returning to your landmark so you’re never far from the lifeguard. Lifeguards know aspects of the seas that beach goers aren’t normally aware of. Staying close to your lifeguard means you are staying close to safety as most drownings occur at unguarded sites.
Safe swimming and enjoy the South African waters this summer!