Before you embark on your Real.Fun.Beach. experience, it's essential to prioritize safety whether you're a seasoned beach-goer or a first-time visitor. To help you make the most of your time on our picturesque beaches, we've compiled a list of beach safety tips that will ensure your vacation remains enjoyable and worry-free!
Check the Beach Conditions
Before heading to the beach, it's important to check local beach conditions. Pay attention to any weather warnings or advisories such as high surf, strong currents, or hazardous marine life. Local authorities and lifeguards can provide up-to-date information regarding the beach conditions, ensuring you're aware of any potential risks.
Know the Flag System
Pay special attention to the beach flag system. These are posted up and down the beaches. Here are what each of the colored flags mean:
- Double Red = Water is closed to the public
- Red = High hazard with high surf and strong currents
- Yellow = Medium hazard with moderate surf and/or strong currents
- Green = Low hazard with calm conditions, but caution still advised
If you'd like text alerts when the flags change, you can text "PCBFLAGS" to 888777.
For more information on the beach flag system, click here.
Be Aware of Rip Currents
A rip current is a powerful, narrow channel of water that flows rapidly away from the shore and can be powerful and dangerous, pulling swimmers away from the shore. It's crucial to educate yourself about rip currents and know how to identify them. A few signs of a rip current are noticeable differences in water color, unusually calm patches, and suspended debris or seaweed. If caught in a rip current, don't panic or attempt to swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you're out of the current, and then swim back to land.
Swim Near Lifeguard Stations
Swimming near lifeguard stations is strongly advised as trained professionals can quickly respond to emergencies and are trained in lifesaving techniques and first-aid. They can also provide information about current water conditions, including rip currents, any known jellyfish sightings, or increased marine activity. These lifeguards are trained to spot potential dangers and respond to emergencies promptly. Lifeguard stations are set up 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:
- Rick Seltzer Park (May 27 - Labor Day Weekend)
- M.B. Miller County Pier (May 27 - Labor Day Weekend)
- Russell-Fields City Pier (April 1- Labor Day Weekend)
Stay Weather Aware
Before heading to the beach, check the local weather forecast. Thunderstorms can form quickly and it's important to be prepared, especially with afternoon pop-up showers happening frequently during summer months. If there are any signs of approaching storms including dark clouds, thunder, or lightning, seek shelter indoors until the storms pass to avoid the dangers associated with lightning strikes.
Stay Hydrated and Use Sun Protection
Spending long hours under the sun can lead to dehydration and sunburns. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during the hot summer months. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF before going to the beach, and reapply frequently. Tents or beach umbrellas are a great way to take a break from the sun and shade yourself from the strong UV rays.
Keep an Eye on Children
If you're visiting the beach with kiddos, always keep a close eye on them. Children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult while near the water. Teach them about basic water safety rules, including staying close to the shore and not swimming alone. Ensure your child also has the proper flotation devices.
By following these beach safety tips, you can make the most out of your beach vacation while staying safe. We hope you have a wonderful time at the Real.Fun.Beach!