We do like to be beside the seaside! Particularly in the warm summer months. But whatever the time of year, we all also need to be safe, aware and learn to respect the sea and local environment. We at Brighton Water Sports would like to give you advice on what dangers to be aware of and ensuring safety during offshore activities, playing in the sea, and spending time at the beach. These beach and sea safety guidelines are crucial to promote your well-being, the protection of marine ecosystems, and the overall enjoyment of your time in the sea. To help you, your family and friends be safe and have a good time at the beach please consider the following guidelines:
- Learn to swim: Before engaging in any sea-based activities, ensure that you possess basic swimming skills and are comfortable in the water. It is essential to be able to navigate and react appropriately in case of emergencies.
- Be aware of weather conditions: Always check weather forecasts and sea conditions before heading out. Strong winds, rough waters, or impending storms can make the sea hazardous. Avoid going into the water during unfavourable conditions.
- Respect lifeguards and beach flags: Pay attention to the instructions provided by lifeguards and respect the meaning of different beach flags. These flags indicate the safety conditions, including water quality, currents, and potential hazards.
- Never swim alone: Whenever possible, swim with a buddy or in designated swimming areas with lifeguards present. Having someone nearby can provide assistance in case of emergencies and ensure your safety.
- Know your limits: Do not push yourself beyond your abilities. Avoid venturing too far from the shore or attempting activities that are beyond your skill level, such as deep-water diving or advanced water sports, without proper training and experience.
- Use appropriate safety equipment: Wear a properly fitted life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when engaging in water activities like boating, jet skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing or kayaking. Make sure your equipment is in good condition and meets safety standards. Buoyancy aids are available from our online store. Click here to view.
- Be cautious of currents and tides: Understand the behaviour of currents and tides in the area you are visiting. Some important considerations include:
- Rip currents: Learn to recognize and understand rip currents, which are powerful, narrow channels of water flowing away from the shore. If caught in a rip current, remain calm, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of its pull, and then swim back to land. If unable to escape, float or tread water and signal for help.
- Longshore currents: Be aware of longshore currents, which flow parallel to the shore. These currents can be strong and may make it challenging to paddle back to the shore. If caught in a longshore current, paddle towards the shore at an angle to escape its pull.
- Tides: Check the local tide charts to understand the timing and intensity of high and low tides. Plan your paddlesport activities accordingly, taking into account potential changes in water depth and currents.
Remember, respecting the sea and prioritizing safety are crucial for everyone's well-being and the preservation of marine ecosystems. By adhering to these rules and understanding currents, tides, and wind conditions, you can enjoy your sea-based activities while minimizing risks and still have a great time at the beach.