Remaining safe at the Beach
We all love the beach; I mean who does not want the beach to be their ultimate tourist destination. From the sand to the sun and the swimming, the beach is a phenomenal place to visit. But therein lurks danger as well. Terrible danger that could at worst cost several lives. So how do we remain safe at the beach and ensure our vacation does not end tragically?
Check out for and obey warning signs
Often, whenever there is extra danger in a beach, the authorities put up very bold and visible warning signs. Often, red flags indicate strong surf and currents and warn users to be extra careful. Other signs include “beach closed” which means there are no safety personnel around so be careful to check before entering the water. There are also warnings on moderate surf and currents; which indicates the likelihood of the water being dangerous. Exercise caution and always swim near the lifeguards. Other often ignored warnings are those on potentially dangerous marine life (think sharks or jellyfish) Always remember that not all beaches are suitable for swimming, so ensure you know the rules before you set foot on the sand to ensure you are completely safe.
Be a careful swimmer
Ocean swimming is nothing like swimming in a calm pool or lake as there are ocean currents that make it an entirely different swimming experience. If by any chance you do not know how to swim or you have visited the beach with a child or adult who can’t swim, ensure everyone has a lifejacket on at all times. If you’re going boating, everyone present should always wear a fitting lifejacket throughout.
It is also important to remember that the ocean floor is not flat and beaches drastically change from time to time. So, as you go swimming do not dive into levels you do not know as you may end up either hurting yourself or drowning. Also, never go swimming alone- always obey the buddy system of beach swimming. No matter how much of a good swimmer you are, exercise restraint and caution. Even good swimmers can drown.
We all know how alcohol impairs judgment yet swimming requires a very high level of concentration. Swimming while drunk is like walking on hot coal with sensitive feet and expecting not to get burnt. Further, alcohol not only affects your judgment; but it also dehydrates you, and combining that with the scorching beach sun, the likelihood of you getting a heat-related illness or emergency is greatly increased. Statistically, 22 percent of drowning-related injures of people aged 15 years or older, were alcohol-related. We know it’s tempting to enjoy a few Pina Coladas while basking on the beach, but if you’re going to take a few shots stay clear of the water and hydrate properly.
Beware of Ocean Life
The ocean is someone else’s territory. Luckily, shark attacks aren’t that common but they are definitely more fatal. While most ocean life by the shore shouldn’t worry you too much, it is very vital to be aware and take extra caution.
We all know the painful terror of a jellyfish sting. If we have not had one, then we probably know someone whose been stung by this creature. Though most of their jellyfish stings are not fatal, they sure do hurt. Then there are the crabs that pinch like scissors. It is important to look out for such dangerous marine life and take extra caution.
When you are at the beach, yes, have fun but please, be careful. There is nothing as devastating as a beach vacation ending in a hospital ward, or worse!