Staying Safe and Happy at the Beach
By Amanda Scali

19/10/2018 10:46am

Living by the coast allows many opportunities to grab the kids, the dog, or possibly both and head on down to the beach to enjoy a bit of downtime. With sand between the toes, the smell of sunscreen in the air and the clear blue ocean lapping at the shores, beach days are what dreams are made of.


But you do need to take care at the beach, especially when going into the water. By taking a couple of things into consideration you can enjoy that beach trip and keep the whole family safe whilst you do it.


So here are our top 5 tips to keep you beach safe, and to help you get the most out of your beach time.

Slip, Slop, Slap.

Now we know that this is nothing new, but it is so important when you’re spending time at the beach.


Being aware of how long you’re spending in the sun and covering up when possible will stop you from suffering the unwanted side effects of being sunburnt and will make that beach time even more enjoyable, both during and after.


 Swim between the flags.

We are fortunate along Adelaide’s coast that many of the beaches are patrolled by lifesaving clubs, so you and your family can enjoy all the fabulous water activities.


Whilst it is still important to be a capable swimmer when heading into one of our gorgeous coastal beaches, it is also nice to know that someone is keeping an eye on you and your loved ones.


Staying between the flags when possible is a must, so be mindful of where you are, and you can look forward to fun, fun, fun at the beach.


Watch out for Rip currents

Rip currents are the number one hazard on Australian beaches, and the best way to avoid a rip is to swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags.


So how do you spot a rip? Watch for deeper, dark-coloured water, fewer breaking waves, a rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters, and anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy water flowing out beyond the waves.


What to do if you get caught in a rip? Stay relaxed, raise your arm to attract attention from the lifeguards, and wait for them to come to rescue you.


Rips are unpredictable, but you might be able to escape the rip by swimming parallel to the beach toward the breaking waves.


If that doesn’t work, reassess your situation and try another option (above) until you get rescued. Ultimately, stay inside the patrolled area of the beach, stay calm, and you should be fine.


Don’t take valuables to the beach

It’s so common for people to take valuable items with them every time they leave the house, like watches and jewellery, but when you’re heading to the beach we recommend you leave those things at home.


The truth is that things can go missing when you’re not close to your towel and gear, so best to keep them at home where they’re safe, and that way you get to keep on enjoying them.


Be aware of marine creatures

Australia’s beaches are home to some marine life which can pack a nasty sting (or bite). These include Bluebottle Jellyfish, and of course, Sharks are always a reality in the ocean.


The best way to stay safe is to swim between the flags (where possible in the netted swimming areas), look for and obey the signs, and if you’re still not sure you can ask a lifeguard for advice.


Adelaide’s coastal beaches have so much to offer and we are amazingly fortunate to have them. As long as you are careful and aware of how to keep yourself and your family safe at the beach, you will love every minute of your time at the beach.