Summer is a busy time for the beaches along the Jersey Shore. If you and your family are heading out to soak up the sun at one of our wonderful beaches, safety should be your top priority. Beach safety should include more than just applying sunscreen. Before you sink your toes in the sand this summer follow these beach safety tips.
- Before swimming in the ocean without a flotation device you should be able to do the freestyle stroke for at least 15 minutes continuously according to the U.S. Lifesaving Association. Even strong swimmers should be cautious when it comes to swimming in the ocean.
- Always pay attention to the color of the flag flying at the beach. A red flag indicates that no swimming is allowed, a yellow flag indicates that you should swim with extra caution, and a green flag indicates that conditions are safe for swimming.
- Swim only within areas that are designated for swimming and are lifeguard-protected.
- Never swim alone and always have children and swimmers who are inexperienced wear a life jacket that is Coast Guard approved.
- Avoid diving in headfirst. If you choose to dive, know the depth of the area and any obstructions that may be in the water. Test the area first by walking in.
- Always keep an eye on children while at the beach. Accidents can happen even in shallow water.
- Do not swim at night when visibility is low.
- Avoid the use of alcohol if you plan to swim as it impairs your judgment, balance and coordination, as well as, impacting your body’s ability to stay warm.
A rip current is a powerful, channeled current that is narrow and fast-moving. These currents can move at speeds up to eight feet per second. Even strong swimmers can be overcome by these current when in a panic they try to swim counter to the current and head straight towards the shore.
- Don’t fight a rip current.
- Stay calm.
- Swim parallel to the shore and at an angle.
- If you’re unable to make it back to the shore, tread water and float.
- Rip currents that are permanent in nature tend to reside near jetties and piers. Stay safe by being at least 100 feet from these areas.
We are lucky to have such wonderful beaches along the Shore and we hope everyone gets a chance this summer to get out and enjoy them. Stay alert and safe this summer.
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