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5 tips to keep you safe at the beach this summer

Last month we explored the world of ocean swimming and found out how easy it was to get involved.

But not everyone’s keen on becoming an ocean swimmer, for some the simple beach lifestyle is just fine.

If you only use the ocean to cool off after tanning, or while watching your kids have all the fun, here are five of my favourite pieces of beach safety advice to make you feel just that little bit safer in the water.

Beach safety tips

1. Swim between the flags

The red and yellow flags mean two things; firstly that the lifeguards have chosen it as the safest location for swimming; and secondly that there will be a set of trained eyes on them watching over you.

2. Time your visit on an incoming tide

The tide plays a huge role in the movement of water at the beach. Outgoing tides strengthen the flow of rip currents and can wreak havoc for beachgoers and lifeguards alike.

3. Never turn your back on the ocean

This is the Hawaiians #1 beach safety rule and it stems from the utmost respect they have for the ocean. Always keep your eyes on the waves so you can see what’s coming at you.

4. Keep yourself grounded

If you’re not a good swimmer ensure you remain shallow enough so you’re always anchored by your feet to the sand. Turn your body slightly into oncoming waves, one foot in front of the other, and lean into the waves to stay in control.

5. Use waves to return to shore

Waves naturally want to push you towards the beach, so if you’re caught in deeper water than you wanted to be in, seek the area where waves are breaking most often and use them to push you to shore.

See: How sandbanks are like swimming between the flags

First published in The Beast by Andre Slade. First published on OceanFit in October 2014.

Andre Slade

Andre is the owner of OceanFit with over 20 years in the swimming education, lifeguarding and coastal safety industry.

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