Understanding Lifeguard Warning Flags
The beach is a relaxing place for family and friends to come together and make memories. The beach is also a dangerous place if the right precautions are not taken by beach-goers? To make sure that your beach memories are happy memories it is important to prepare and be aware of your surroundings. One way to do this is by paying attention to lifeguards.
Lifeguards are extremely important to help ensure safe and fun beach visits because they can rescue swimmers in trouble, recognize heat illness, and are trained to warm beach-goers of dangerous conditions. These warnings can cover anything from strong currents or undertow to shark or jellyfish sightings.
You can take an active role in helping lifeguards by understanding their warning flags. There are four main flags that a majority of beach communities honor.Knowing the colors and their meanings can help keep you and your family safe!
Green means go! Green indicates good conditions, but remember that the ocean and the weather are unpredictable. You should still be aware of your surroundings even when a green flag is up.Storms can easily take the beach by surprise, making it imperative to stay alert. Even if the sky is clear,there are still potential dangers in the water.
The yellow flag indicates that swimmers should enter the ocean with caution. Usually,a yellow flag is a sign of a bad undertow or strong currents.Swimmers are still free to dive in, but they are advised to wear life jackets – especially children. Even if you are a strong swimmer, you should stay near a lifeguard to be made aware of any worsening conditions. A yellow flag can also indicate a large drop-off or a high population of fish in the area. If you are unsure, ask your lifeguard why the flag has been signaled.
The red flag is the most serious warning that a lifeguard can signal. This flag means that currents are too dangerous for the average swimmer.Two red flags mean swimming is prohibited to everyone- regardless of your skill level. A red flag could also indicate dangerous weather approaching. Ask the lifeguard if you and your family should head for shelter if you see a red flag flying.
Dark Blue/Purple Flag
A dark blue or purple flag indicate that dangerous animals have been spotted in the water. This includes sharks and deadly jellyfish.Regardless of a warning, it is extra important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings while swimming in the ocean. Predators in the water have a difficult time deciphering what food is and you don’t want to be mistaken as the main course.
A day at the beach can be a great way to relax and bond with loved ones. Don’t let your time on the shore go sour and be sure to pay close attention to the patrolling lifeguards. Now that you know what the lifeguard flags stand for, you are one step closer to making happy beach memories. Remember that the beach can be fun, but the ocean is a dangerous place.
This guest blog was written by Freedom Travel, specializing in vacation planning and travel services for military members. Freedom Travel offers military travel discounts and packages to some of the top beaches around the world.
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