Welcome to the beach! Let’s start your vacation off with our beach safety tips. Maybe this is your first time traveling to the Gulf Coast or maybe your first time to the beach ever. You’ve heard about beach safety, marine wildlife, or sunburn so bad you can barely move let alone go back to the beach (check out this quick fix for that!). Oftentimes the flags will change colors what seems by the day, but don’t worry! All of this information isn’t as confusing as it seems. Here at Southern, we’ve got you covered on the basics of beach safety. We’ll even put it in a neat list for all of you perfectionists out there because we think like that too.
Absolutely the most important thing to pay attention to when going to the beach. Let’s review what the flags mean!
Green Flag – Calm condition, exercise caution
Yellow Flag – Moderate surf and/or moderate currents
Red Flag – High surf and/or strong currents | Double Red Flags – Water closed to the public
Purple Flag – Marine pests present.
As always, be sure to exercise caution when entering the water. If you aren’t sure about water conditions, consult the lifeguard on duty, or simply admire the waves from the safety of the shore!
They’re not as bad as you think they are. In fact, they’re fun! The jellyfish pictured is a Moon JellyfishAurelia aurita and they are what you’ll mostly see around our beaches. They are in large part, harmless! Most people don’t even feel their sting and should you bump into them from their bell or the top of the animal, there aren’t any nematocysts or, the stinging cells, so you can’t get stung! Beware however, occasionally a Portuguese Man O’ War or two will wash up on the shores! These beautiful yet dangerous creatures have large blue and black sails and extremely long stinging tentacles, so you’ll know when you see one! Give them a wide berth and keep an eye on those beach flags!
Safety in the Water
“Predict the rip!” and “Break the grip of the rip!” Are just some of the things you learn being a local! Learn how to spot a rip current at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website. Always check water conditions before going in, know where the lifeguards are, and don’t swim alone! If you feel you’ve been caught in a rip current, never swim against the current but swim out of it parallel to the shoreline. Find the latest safety precautions and guidelines to all things beach safety at NOAA’s website.
We hope you all have a wonderful dream vacation making some safe, Sweet Southern moments. As always, check out the events calendar to add some local events to your dream vacation plans!