Beach & Rip Current Safety Tips

We at want to share some Beach and Rip Current Safety Tips.  Including a video on how to identify and react if caught in a rip current:

Please follow these 3 Water Safety Rules to Stay Safe at the Beach!!!

  • DON’T SWIM ALONE, swim near lifeguards
  • If caught in a rip current YELL AND WAVE FOR HELP while still in shallow water. If you can swim, swim along the beach out of the rip and then to shore.
  • Use a flotation device in all water rescues. Don’t attempt an ocean rescue if you are a poor swimmer. GET HELP WITH ANY RESCUES!

Beach Safety Tips

When at the beach:

Swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.  The odds of drowning on a lifeguard protected beach are 1 in 18,000,000.  You are 5 times more likely to drown at a beach without life guard supervision.  No lifeguard, no swimming.

  • Never swim alone.
  • Learn how to swim in the surf.  It’s not the same as swimming in a pool or lake.
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to identify potential hazards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. This is part of their job.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist along side these structures.
  • Consider using polarized sunglasses when at the beach. They will help you to spot signatures of rip currents by cutting down glare and reflected sunlight off the ocean’s surface.
  • Pay especially close attention to children and elderly when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing.


Rip Current Safety Tips

If caught in a rip current/tide:

Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.

  • Never fight against the current.
  • Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle–away from the current–towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.


If you see someone in trouble, don’t become a victim too:

Get help from a lifeguard.

  • If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats–a lifejacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball.
  • Yell instructions on how to escape.
  • Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.


Click here to watch a rip current safety tips including a video.

know BEFORE you go in the water!

  • Check the National Weather Service Surf Zone Forecast: Before you leave for the beach, check the official surf zone forecasts and/or beach advisories and closings link. You also can ask your hotel or rental agency for local sources of weather and beach forecasts.
  • Know How to Swim BEFORE You Venture In: Swimming in a pool is NOT the same as swimming at a surf beach with crashing waves, winds, and dangerous currents. Changing ocean currents and winds can quickly exhaust your energy and strength. You should be a strong swimmer before you go into the ocean, Great Lakes, or Gulf of Mexico. Many swimming programs now offer lessons in how to escape a rip current. According to the USLA, learning how to swim is the best defense against drowning.
  • Know What the Warnings Flags Mean: Know what the warning flags mean (see chart below). Read the beach safety signs at the entrance to the beach. Once on the beach, look for beach warning flags, often posted on or near a lifeguard’s stand. A green flag means water conditions are safe and other colors mean conditions are not safe. These flags are there to protect you. Please read and obey the posted beach signs and warning flags.

Beach Warning Flags, Red Closed, High Hazard; Yellow, medium hazards; green, low hazard; purple, dangerous marine life

You can obtain additional beach and rip current safety tips by logging onto National Weather Service.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *