How to Stay Safe on the Beach


Cecilia Wilson, Staff Writer

Some of the most popular places to visit in Brevard are the beaches. However, they can be dangerous. Since December, there have been eight deaths due to drowning after victims were swept away by rip currents. All deaths were on unguarded beaches. So what exactly can you do to stay safe on the beach?

Swim supervised

There are 5 guarded beaches in Brevard county: The Cocoa Beach Pier, Shepard Park, Lori Wilson Park, Minuteman Causeway, Paradise/Futch Beach, and Melbourne Beach. Try and swim somewhere where you know there will be people who can help you. While many locals have the mindset they don’t need to swim near a guard, it could be a life saving decision.

Never swim alone

You should always make sure that you are with a friend or family member in case you get in trouble. If you can’t find someone to go with, then you should make sure to text or call a friend and let them know where you are going and when you expect to be back. If anything happens to you, someone will have more information about your whereabouts and can send help. If you do decide to swim alone, make sure people or a lifeguard are nearby.

Research your beach

Before going to your beach of choice, you should try and find some more information, especially if it is your first time at that particular one. Learn about what tide it is, the weather forecast, wind speeds, etc. It can help you be prepared in case any bad weather comes your way.

Know yourself

Know your limits, how good of a swimmer you are, and know if you can tread water. If you are not as strong as a swimmer, don’t swim when there are rough waves. If you are stuck in a rip current and are also a good swimmer, your chances of survival will be higher.

Know what a rip current looks like

The currents are where the water flows back into the ocean. These spots will often have a channel of foam on the top of the water. There is a break in the waves here, so the water in this area is choppy. Also, the area of the current often looks darker than the surrounding water.

Pay attention

Most beaches have signs around detailing how common rip currents are, what to do if you get caught in one, and sometimes even have the conditions of that day. Most people that die after being swept into a rip current don’t survive because they panic and use up all their energy. But, if they had read the signs, they would know that rather than fighting it, let it take you out and swim parallel to the beach. Trying to swim back to shore is not going to benefit you and will only cause weakness.

If you follow these steps and pay attention to signs and lifeguards, then you can stay safe at the beach and have fun.