Five Tips to Keep Swimmers Safe This Summer


Waves roll in on the beaches of Florida in the evening while the sunsets. (Erin Eubanks / The Talon News)

Avery Austin, Reporter

Many people travel to the beach over the summer for their family vacations. However, before getting in the water, there are several precautions swimmers need to take in order to avoid possible dangers.

1. Before you get into the water make sure there is not a red flag up. If the red flag is up that means there are strong rip currents which are very strong narrow currents that flow outward from the beach. Every year many deaths are caused by rip currents. If ever stuck in a rip current make sure to stay calm. Swim parallel to the shore, but once out of the current you can swim towards the shore.

“One time on a trip in Mexico, I was stuck in a rip current,” junior Caleigh Ramsey said. “It was so scary. The current just kept on taking me farther and father away from the shore.”

2. Be aware of aquatic animals. Not all animals can be harmful.

3. To make sure to stay safe from sharks, avoid wearing shiny jewelry, going too deep into the ocean, and swim between dusk and dawn. There were 28 shark bites confirmed in the United States in 2014.

“I saw three sharks one time at the beach,” freshman Landry Austin said. “The sharks swam right up next to the shore. People were still in the water while the sharks were right next to them. Luckily no one was attacked.”

4. Make sure to never swim alone. Even professionals need a swimming partner. The ocean water can never truly show how it will behave.

5. Be prepared for back wash in the water. Back wash is especially dangerous for small children.  It occurs when the water remaining on the beach returns forcefully to the surf beneath later incoming waves.

Where ever this summer takes you, if it is the west coast, east coast, or simply just the Gulf of Mexico make sure to be prepared for the ocean.