Be Ocean Smart

LEARN TO SWIM Learning to swim is the best defense against drowning.  Teach children to swim at an early age.

SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD Lifeguard towers are staffed 9:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily, and are located along the beach from 1014 Seabreeze Blvd. to 1200 N. Atlantic Blvd.

NEVER SWIM ALONE Always swim with a companion. At the very least, have someone onshore who can call for help.

DON'T FIGHT THE CURRENT If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Learn more at

SWIM SOBER Alcohol is a major factor in drowning.  Alcohol impairs swimming ability and good judgement.

LEASH YOUR BOARD Surfboards and body boards should be used only with a leash, so it won’t become separated from the user.

DON'T FLOAT WHERE YOU CAN'T SWIM Non-swimmers often dangerously use floatation devices to go offshore, and can drown if they fall off. Wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket is the only exception.

DON'T DIVE HEADFIRST, PROTECT YOUR NECK Diving headfirst into unknown water and striking the bottom can lead to serious, lifelong injuries. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, and then go in feet first the first time. While bodysurfing, always extend a hand ahead of you.

UNDERSTAND BEACH WARNING FLAGS Flags posted on the beach and flying from lifeguard towers represent ocean hazards and surf conditions, which can change quickly. Check with the lifeguard on duty if you’re unsure of safe conditions.

Beach Conditions Hotline:
Information courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Beach Ocean Rescue.

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28 Mar 2014