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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Why you should always swim within the flags


    Visiting the beach and swimming in the sea are highly popular summer activities for many British families. Care is, however advised when taking to the water and you should always seek out lifeguarded beaches and swim within the flags provided on these. There are good reasons for this.

    Why you should always swim within the flags

    Two flags with horizontal red over yellow stripes mark out a safe area for you to swim in between on British and many international beaches. The reason you should make sure to only swim within the flags is simple: outside of these flags, there may be a heightened risk of personal injuries.

    Possible dangers

    Safe swimming areas are usually marked to prevent swimmers from being injured by hazards including:

    • Surfers, jet-skis or boats
    • Strong currents, dangerous undercurrents or rocks
    • Marine life, such as, for example, jellyfish

    In addition, getting beach visitors to swim within the flags (and subsequently within a contained area) makes it easier for lifeguards to spot if someone gets into trouble.

    Other flags

    It also helps to know what other flags you are likely to see on a beach mean. A quartered black and white flag, for instance, indicates a surfing area, which should be avoided by swimmers for obvious reasons. A solid red flag warns of danger (risk of being dragged out to sea by tidal currents, water too rough to swim due to weather conditions, etc.) and means you should not get into the water at all. This flag or a double red flag may also indicate the presence of sharks. Other marine life, like jellyfish, stingrays or sea snakes, may be indicated by a purple flag.

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    Preventing mishaps

    Swimming between the flags and heeding the warnings of additional flags is just one way of preventing beach accidents. Looking out for other swimmers, surfers, and so on will all help to prevent accidental injuries, as will not overestimating your own abilities and swimming out too far. On the beach, looking out for slip and trip hazards, sharp objects in the sand and other hazards likely to cause injuries at the beach will help to prevent potentially painful mishaps.

    Accident Advice Helpline

    If you were injured at the beach through no fault of your own, you may qualify for personal injury compensation. Talk to one of our advisors on 0333 500 0993 or 0800 689 0500 from your mobile or UK landline today to learn more about making a compensation claim.

    Date Published: February 7, 2017

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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