Today (October 14, 2016): Travel Tip: 5 beach safety signs that could save your life
Spending time at the beach is a highlight for most holiday goers. But it’s a potentially dangerous place and it’s your responsibility to obey the signs. Water safety signs and flags can therefore be an invaluable aid in bringing people’s attention to hazards and indicating where safety aids or lifeguards are available. Understanding what they mean could save your, or someone else’s, life. I hereby share with you the most important beach safety signs.
1. Red and yellow flags
Red and yellow flags are used to mark out the safest place to swim or to use a body-board and inflatables. By sticking within these allocated areas, you can relax somewhat as lifeguards will be supervising all swimmers.
As conditions in the sea change, flags can be moved throughout the day – so keep an eye out.
2. Black and white flags
When you see black and white flags on a beach, it usually indicates areas that are relegated specifically for swimmers – they are there to point out no surf zones. As The Australian Beach Safety Guide says, “no swimmer or surfer wants a case of wave collision,” so stick to the right zone.
In the UK and US, however, black and white flags mean the opposite. That is, they indicate an area solely for watersports such as surfing and kayaking. So check out specific country headlines before heading to the water. If you’re braving the colder waters of UK beaches, you can find out more with the help of the NHS.
3. Orange windsock
Everyone loves an inflatable. But they’re not always safe to use in the sea. For example, when an orange windsock is flying it shows there are offshore winds which could push you away quickly. Stick to swimming when you see these.
4. Red flag
If you see a red flag, it unfortunately means you’ll be sticking to the shore for the meantime. It’s there to keep you safe and indicates that the current sea conditions are too dangerous to swim. Follow these guidelines at all costs.
5. Regulatory signs
Local authorities will put up regulatory signs at their beaches to warn visitors of any forbidden activities at that location – for example, windsurfing. It’s worth paying close attention to these as they could vary between beaches. You could also be hit with a fine if you fail to follow them – and that’s not something you want on holiday.
So don’t spoil your trip by ignoring signs that are there to keep you safe. There should always be an information sign or point to give you more details about staying safe at the beach – including emergency service numbers for that country.
Generally, it’s about using your common sense. If something doesn’t look safe, don’t risk it. These useful tips for beachgoers and surfers, from The United States Lifesaving Association, should help keep you safe at the beach:
- Learn to swim
- Swim near a lifeguard
- Swim with a buddy
- Check with the lifeguards
- Use sunscreen and drink water
- Obey posted signs and flags
- Keep the beach and water clean
- Learn ripcurrent safety
- Enter water feet first
- Wear a life jacket
Source: Complete List of Beach Flags and Warning Signs
Would you add any more safety tips for the beach? Share your comment below.
Enjoy the weekend and stay tuned for Monday when I reveal a new top 10 travel list.