Beach holidays and swimming in the surf are not without potentially serious dangers. Beach and surf swimming accidents are, in fact, quite common. Here are a few tips for preventing personal injuries:
First of all, before you get into the surf, check out the beach flag. Some beaches use different flags (so if in doubt, ask a life guard what a flag means), but in general:
- Red means either ‘Be careful’ or ‘Beach closed’ (make sure to check it out)
- Yellow means moderate currents and surf; water may be rough, but not necessarily very dangerous
- Green means it is safe to swim (although you should still be careful)
Blue or purple flags may warn of jellyfish, sharks or other potentially dangerous sea life.
In order to prevent drowning incidents make sure you:
- Only attempt to swim in the surf if you are a reasonably good swimmer (you should not be in the water unless you are at least capable of doing a ‘doggie paddle’)
- Remember that the sea bed may drop off unexpectedly
- Make sure you are not alone (have a friend or family member in the water with you or at least nearby)
It is also recommended to swim in areas where lifeguards are nearby.
- Rip currents
Be aware of rip currents, which could easily carry you out to the sea. They can be recognised by off-coloured, choppy areas of water and you should keep well clear of them. Should you be caught, do not panic, but let the current carry you for a while, then swim parallel to the shore until you are out of it before heading diagonally back to the shore. If you cannot make it back, wave your arms and yell to make someone aware of your predicament and get help.
- Waves, alcohol and other risks
Never drink alcohol before going surf swimming and never turn your back on waves. Some waves are strong enough to cause sprains, dislocations and broken limbs, as well as potentially serious neck or spinal injuries. Then, of course, there is the risk of slips, trips and falls in the water and on the beach, in beach cafes, and so on.
Your right to claim
Should you sustain an injury by slipping, tripping or falling or any other kind of beach accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Get an experienced in-house Accident Advice Helpline lawyer to assist you to maximise your chance of successfully claiming for slip, trip or fall compensation. Call us today on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice