This past weekend many families found themselves celebrating Memorial Day on the coast of Texas. The bright weather on the beaches brought many families to have fun in the sun.
When at the beach it is very important that you and your children are very safe. Making sure they aware of the tide and currents in the water. When I was younger I was always taught to be cautious, however, now I know the true tragedy that the ocean can cause.
The beach can be a very dangerous place even if you take the necessary precautions. While you are at the beach please make sure that you are being as safe as possible.
Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our nation’s beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Beachgoers should be aware of how dangerous rip currents are, and swim only at beaches with lifeguards in the designated swimming area. Rip currents can form in any large open water area, such as low spots and breaks in sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers.
Here are tips in case you get caught in a Rip Current.
- If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current.
- Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
- If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
- If you feel you can’t make it to the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
- Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
- If someone is in trouble in the water, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.Throw the victim something that floats – a lifejacket, cooler, inflatable ball and yell instructions on how to escape the current.
- When at the beach, check conditions before entering the water. Check to see if any warning flags are up or ask a lifeguard about water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.
If you have any questions please contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Science