Swimming in the ocean is one of the main reasons many people visit coastal South Carolina every year. If you’re not aware of the dangers of swimming in the ocean, you can put yourself (and others) at risk. Read our top safety tips below and remember, when in doubt, don’t go out!
- Do Not Swim Alone– No matter how good of a swimmer you are, it’s always safer to swim in groups.
- Know Your Limits– If you know you’re not a strong swimmer, avoid getting in the water when wind, currents, rip tides and waves are high. Watch other swimmers enter and exit the water for at least a few minutes to know what to expect. Set your expectations realistically on how well you can swim without the aid of floatation devices and never go out farther than you can swim back.
- Ask a Lifeguard– Choose beaches that have lifeguard stations, and don’t be afraid to ask them about conditions. Hazardous conditions could include dangerous shore breaks, strong currents, high surf, shark sightings, jellyfish, man-o-war, and dangerous rip tides.
- Be Cautious– Rip tides can drag even the strongest swimmer out into deep water. Rip currents can be recognized by a sandy discoloration and smooth water between breaking waves. Since rip tides are in proportion to the frequency and size of the waves, the larger the waves, the stronger the rip currents will be. If you find yourself caught in a rip tide, swim parallel to the shore, slowly working your way back at an angle. Do not panic and do not be afraid to signal for help.
- Be Aware– Just because the water looks calm doesn’t always mean it is. Waves come in sets, so be aware of the tidal cycles and possible marine life around you when entering the water. Avoid swimming at night, wearing shiny jewelry and do not swim in areas that are being fished.
- Have a Plan– Always have an entry and an exit plan from the water. Remember where you got in and try to follow a similar path. If a large wave is approaching and you don’t have time to get out of the way, try to dive beneath it or keep your body as low as possible until it passes over you.
- Follow the Basics– Wear sunscreen, bring appropriate footwear when visiting beaches, and avoid alcohol and drugs when swimming in the ocean. Never leave children unattended. Leave before everyone is burned and you’ll be able to come back another day.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll have a safe and happy time at the beach! All of us at Seaside Rentals wish you and your family a very happy Summer 2017!