Spending time on unfamiliar beaches often makes it difficult to determine where it is safe to swim. Fortunately, most good beaches are patrolled by lifeguards, which means there will be flags telling you where it is safe to swim and when or where it is not safe to enter the water.
Where it is safe to swim
While the patterns and colours of flags indicating if, where and when it is safe to swim may vary slightly between countries, red and yellow flags typically indicate areas in which it is safe to get in and swim.
To prevent swimming accidents, you should always stay between these flags.
Flags acting as warnings
Depending on varying circumstances, these flags may be gradually moved across a beach. In case of potential risks arising, such as deteriorating weather conditions, changing tides or dangerous marine life, for instance, these flags may be replaced by warning flags including:
- Red flags, which indicate that high surfs or strong currents make it dangerous to swim
- Purple flags, which alert you to the presence of potentially dangerous jellyfish, other dangerous fish or stingrays, for instance
- Red and white quartered flags, which signal the presence of sharks
As mentioned above, the patterns or colours used to provide these warnings may vary. Make sure you help to prevent accidents on the beach by learning the meaning behind the flag colours and patterns for the country you are visiting.
Naturally, it is eminently important never to ignore the warnings these flags convey, as you may otherwise suffer injuries or even die in near-drowning or drowning accidents or sustain injuries by harmful sea life.
Being in injured in the water is not the only risk you face when on holiday on foreign shores. There is also always a risk of injuries by slips, trips and falls.
You can help to prevent injuries by slipping, tripping or falling by minding your step and reporting slip, trip or fall hazards in beach facilities or at your hotel immediately.
When holiday dreams turn into nightmares
Should the unexpected happen and you are injured on vacation by a trip, slip or fall or another kind of accident caused by someone else, you may qualify for a travel accident claim.
Get in touch with us, Accident Advice Helpline, via our no-obligation 24/7 freephone helpline on these numbers: 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from a landline.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice