Ocean Safety, Sharks and Riptides

Heading to the beach for your summer vacation?

Whether you’re with your friends, family or flying solo you’ll want to keep these ocean safety tips in mind before you head into the waves.

Know your limits:

Only swim in the designated swimming areas and ONLY when there is a lifeguard on duty. Swimming outside of those designated areas distracts lifeguards and has them wasting time on getting you back in the right place instead of watching for swimmers safety in the right area.

Watch the waves:

Check out the height and strength of the waves before you decide to head in for a swim. Waves usually come in sets before pausing. Observe a few sets to see how big the waves can potentially get and create your swim strategy. Know how far you should go before waves will be crashing on top of you. Or if you’re a good swimmer, go far enough to duck under the big waves.

Watch the kids:

Whether they are yours or not, keep an extra eye out for the little ones. You never know when a wave can knock them down, swallow too much salt water or get hit by a careless swimmer or surfer.

Know what to do in a riptide:

Riptides are currents that can pull you away from shore. Because it’s frightening, most people panic and start try and swim to the shore, against the current. People drown in riptides because they try swimming against it. Instead, let the riptide carry you until it eventually subsides, OR a lifeguard comes to save you (this happened to my dad!). You can also try to swim parallel to shore to get away from it. Most importantly, stay calm and buoyant.

Surf, boogie and other boards:

Keep your boards attached to your body. Wear your leashes, especially when there are kids around swimming. Most beaches have designated surf areas but some are mixed and boogie boards are allowed on most beaches. When boards go flying no noses are safe!

As always, keep your awareness heightened and think of others’ safety as well as yourself.

Now get out there and enjoy your beach time!IMG_9222

Watch the video at the top for more tips from Captain Lifeguard, Kenichi Haskett of the Los Angeles County Fire Department…