Beach Safety 101: How to Stay Safe in the Sun and Surf
Batemans Bay in NSW is a popular beach destination for locals and tourists. With its beautiful coastline, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life, Batemans Bay has something to offer everyone. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers and take steps to stay safe at the beach.
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a first-time swimmer, you can do a few simple things to stay safe at the beach. Here are some tips for beach safety 101:
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen is the most important item you’ll need to pack for a day at the beach. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every two hours or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
- Hat: A wide-brimmed hat can help to protect your face and ears from the sun.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Choose sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Clothing: Sun-protective clothing, such as rash guards and long-sleeved shirts, can help to protect your skin from the sun.
- Swim in patrolled areas: Always swim in areas patrolled by lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to spot and respond to emergencies, and they can help to keep you safe while you’re swimming.
- Be aware of the conditions: Before you swim, take a moment to assess the conditions. Be aware of the tides, currents, and waves. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to swim, ask a lifeguard for advice.
- Supervise children: Never leave children unattended at the beach. Always supervise children closely while they’re in the water.
Additional tips for water safety
- Don’t swim alone: Swimming with a buddy is always best. If you get into trouble, your buddy can help you or get help.
- Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment and coordination, making it difficult to swim safely.
- Be aware of the marine life: Be aware of the marine life in your swimming area. Some marine life, such as stingrays and jellyfish, can be dangerous. Ask a lifeguard for advice if you see any marine life you’re unsure about.
Rip currents are strong currents that flow away from shore. They can be very dangerous, especially for inexperienced swimmers. If you’re caught in a rip current, don’t swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you’re out of the current.
How to Identify a Rip Current
Rip currents are often characterized by the following:
- A channel of choppy water that flows away from shore.
- There is a difference in color between the water in the rip current and the water around it.
- Debris floating out to sea.
What to Do if You’re Caught in a Rip Current
If you’re caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Stay calm and follow these steps:
- Don’t swim against the current. It’s too strong.
- Swim parallel to shore until you’re out of the current.
- Once you’re out of the current, swim back to shore.
If you’re not a strong swimmer or struggling to stay afloat, signal for help. A lifeguard will be able to help you get to safety.
Other beach safety tips
- Be aware of your surroundings: Other swimmers, boats, and surfers. Be careful not to swim in areas with a lot of traffic.
- Take breaks: Don’t swim for too long without taking a break. Get out of the water and rest every 20-30 minutes.
- Drink plenty of water: It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re swimming. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
By following these beach safety tips, you can help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable day at the beach.