I was taken back a bit as I thought everyone knew the Beach Flag warning systems of the area but obviously, that was not very accurate.
Therefore, I have decided to post this little lesson on Beach Flag color meanings and other warnings that hopefully will help prevent incidents this year along our beaches.
Beach Flag Meanings:
- Double Red Beach Flags: Water Closed to all for swimming to the public
- Single Red Beach Flag: High Hazard – high surf, strong currents
- Yellow Beach Flag: medium hazard – caution –moderate surf and/or currents
- Green Beach Flag: low hazard – Calm conditions BUT exercise caution
- Purple Beach Flag: dangerous marine life – dangerous fish, stingrays, jellyfish
Rip Tides are very dangerous and must be respected for their lethal strength. “Visit South Walton” has posted he following information concerning Rip Tides. EVERYONE should read and know what to do if you get caught in one.
How To Identify A Rip Current
One or more of the following features indicate the presence of a rip current:
- Darker color surf, indicating deeper water
- Murky brown water caused by sand stirred up on the bottom
- Smaller unorganized waves, alongside more evenly breaking waves over a sand bar
- Waves breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip current
What To Do If You See Someone Else Caught In A Rip Current:
- Notify a lifeguard
- Have someone call 911, give accurate landmarks
- Do not enter the water, you too will be caught in the current
- Throw them a flotation device
- Try not to lose sight of the victim
What To Do If You’re Caught In A Rip Current:
- Don’t panic or swim against the current
- Relax, float with the current until it dissipates
- Swim parallel to shore and back in
I truly hope you will enjoy yourself in our beautiful emerald green waters and swim with caution by obeying the beach flags and being aware of the signs of a rip tide.
Respect the water’s environment and you will have a fun filled time splashing in the Gulf or any body of natural water.