How to keep safe on the Beach
Heading to Australia to hit the famous beaches? It is best to know some beach and water safety before diving in! Always Swim Between the Red and Yellow Flags
On Australian beaches where a lifesaving service is in operation, you will see RED AND YELLOW FLAGS. The lifeguards have chosen a section of the beach that is best for swimming and they will be supervising this area. If you swim between the flags and become distressed, the lifeguards will easily see you and be able to send out a rescue to you.
If you chose to swim outside of the flags, you put yourself at risk, these areas are not as closely monitored by lifesavers.
Before heading down the beach be sure to stop and read the safety signs. They are posted before you get onto the sand and highly visible. These signs tell you about the beach and includes any dangers and warnings. These signs may indicate 'strong currents', 'rough surf' and 'submerged rocks'.
All these signs also include information about keeping Australia's beaches clean. Please pick up all rubbish you bring with you (and pick up any other litter you see). Make sure you never throw rubbish in the ocean and dispose of cigarette butts thoughtfully in the bins. We want Australia to be beautiful, so help us keep it this way.
If you are on a beach being patrolled by lifeguards, feel free to ask them about the conditions for the day and any other specific things you should be aware of. Every beach in Australia is different and can change from day-to-day. Lifeguards are highly trained and very knowledgeable and are there to make the beach a safe place for your enjoyment.
A great way to spend time at the beach is to swim with a friend or family member. While swimming in a group or with a friend, you can keep an eye out for each other. If one of you requires assistance, there is always someone who can go for help or call out. Make sure you know your own swimming limits and also the people with you. Be safe and comfortable and never swim outside of your comfort level.
If you find yourself outside of your limits, not feeling comfortable and require assistance by a lifeguard, all you need to do is remain calm, raise your arm in the air and wave it from side to side. This will attract the lifeguards and they will come to your aide. Try to avoid panicking. If you can, float on your back to reserve your energy to keep yourself afloat.
Some other things to keep in mind while enjoying Victoria's beaches is that swimming and alcohol don't mix. Avoid drinking alcohol and then heading into the ocean, as you put yourself at a huge risk. You may not realise how strong a current is, you may not be able to keep yourself afloat and get tired faster. Practise good common sense and don't let your friends swim when they have been drinking.
Keep an Eye on Children. Children adore the beach and run around with abandon. It is always best to stay close to your children and watch them at all times when they are near the water. If they are heading into the water, go with them and supervise. Always try to keep children within an arms length when near the water as accidents can happen.
What Should you do if you Loose your Child?
- Do not panic, hundreds of children are reported lost every year, usually they are found walking along the beach.
- Quickly check the immediate area then notify the lifesavers/lifeguards on duty.
- If no lifesavers/lifeguards are on duty then the police can be contacted.
For more information about a specific beach and the warnings on the day, please always check with BeachSafe first.
To avoid sunburn and dehydration while you enjoy a day outside, follow these simple steps:
SLIP: Slip on a long sleeved shirt to get the best protection from the suns rays.
SLOP: Slop on some SPF30+ sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go out in the sun and then don’t forget to reapply every two hours after that.
SLAP: Slap on a hat, a wide-brim hat will provide the best protection to your head and face.
SEEK: Seek some shade, particularly between the hours of 10am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest.
SLIDE: Slide on a pair of UV rated sunglasses.
SLURP: Drink plenty of water and avoid fizzy and alcoholic drinks that will dehydrate you.
Be safe and enjoy the beach!