Thousands of people enjoy spending time at beaches around Wales every year. But with 20 per cent of drowning happening in coastal waters, being aware of the dangers and spotting the hazards will ensure that your visit to the beach is a happy event and does not turn into a tragedy.
When visiting the beach, especially if you have children with you, consider the following:
- Notice whether there are lifeguards available.
- Check if the tide is in or out.
- Are there rocks, piers, groynes or breakwaters that may affect paddling and bathing.
- Is the beach busy.
- Are there watersports taking place, are these in zoned areas.
- What are the sea conditions like, does the beach shelve steeply.
- Wherever possible use a properly fitted lifejacket or floatation device; especially when going out on a boat or other leisure craft.
Try and choose a beach that offers a lifeguard service and swim where the patrol operates, within the area of red/yellow flags.
Look for safety information, which may include warning signs and know what the flags mean:
Red and Yellow – lifeguards on patrol, two flags at the waters edge enclose the patrolled area.
Red – dangerous to swim or bathe.
Black and white – zoned off for water sports.
- Go together – don’t swim alone.
- Children should always go with an adult.
- Know where everyone is.
- Constant supervision is the only real means of ensuring your child’s safety.
Learn how to help – shout for help and tell a lifeguard if there is a problem, or go to the nearest phone, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
Do not enter the water to rescue anyone.
Related external links
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) - www.rnli.org.uk (English only)
Sea Smart: www.mcga.gov.uk/seasmart (English only)