Are You Beach-Smart? Follow Our Summer Safety Tips
Summer 2016 is finally here and like most people you may already be planning on heading to the beach to cool off during the sizzling mid-day sun. The beach certainly is a fantastic place to while away the hours and work on your tan. However, before you sporadically up and go, make sure you are beach-smart in order to avoid any unnecessary accidents or injuries. Here are a few summer safety tips you should know before hitting the beach this summer!
Blue Flag Status Beaches
It’s safe to say that no two beaches are alike. However, a handful of beaches in Malta have achieved the blue flag status that acts as a level of standardization. These beaches include all the essentials that will ensure you are safe at the beach and can get the most out of your experience. Things such as showers, separate toilets and walkways. They also include efforts to keep the area as environmentally friendly as possible like separate rubbish bins and beach ashtrays. They include a shaded lifeguard platform, a clinic room and emergency equipment, a flag pole with a safety system and swim zone parameters all for your safety. Wondering which these beaches are? Here’s the list:
- St. George’s Bay
- Fond Ghadir Bay
- Westin Dragonara Resort
- Qawra Point
- Bugibba Perched Beach
- Ghajn Tuffieha
- Ghadira Bay
- Paradise Bay
- Golden Bay
- Ramla Bay
Understanding Beach Flags
Every beach has permanent and occasional hazards due to the unpredictable temperament of nature so it’s important that you are aware of these. When you first go to a beach make sure you identify where the flag pole is and see what colour flag is flying.
- A green flag – low hazard meaning conditions are calm.
- A yellow flag – medium hazard meaning there is moderate surf or currents.
- A red flag – high hazard, here there will be a high surf and possibly even strong currents too.
- Two red flags flying on the same flag pole means the beach is closed to the public, under no circumstances should you enter.
- A blue flag – there is dangerous marine life in the area. This is different from the flag that signifies blue flag status so don’t get these mixed up.
Understanding Waves and Currents
Large waves and strong currents can be dangerous to everyone, even strong experienced swimmers. If you see big waves and are not too confident in your swimming abilities, it’s best to avoid going in the water. Even in calmer conditions be sure to display caution as rip currents can be a major hazard. These are currents that can easily drag you out to sea if you are not prepared. Rip currents can be identified by areas of choppy water when the water around it is generally calm. A good indicator is to see if you can spot any foam or debris floating out to sea at a faster rate than normal. If you happen to find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t panic. If you swim parallel to the beach, you will eventually escape the current and can safely swim back to shore.
Now that you know the basics of beach safety you can grab your beach towel, some sun lotion and a few good friends and start your summer! And remember for peace of mind, Laferla has you covered with excellent health insurance plans. Click here for a free online quote today!