Daytona Beach is widely beloved for its deep, wide shoreline and 23 miles of hard-packed beaches. Visitors come from all over the world to stretch out in the sun or drive their cars in the designated areas of these iconic sands. From sunrise strolls to jet-ski excursions, Daytona Beach offers endless waterfront adventures for all ages. And, along with all the fun that’s had on Daytona Beach, safety is also held in high regard here. As with any beach vacation, it’s good to be aware of common safety precautions when swimming in the ocean.
The internationally-recognized Lifeguard Corps that help make sure beach goers have a safe and enjoyable experience use a color-coded flag system to denote beach and surf conditions, such as rip currents. This channel of fast-moving water can pull even a very strong swimmer away from shore. Swimming in front of a lifeguard tower is always recommended. It’s also important to know what to do if you should ever find yourself in this situation. Follow these steps to get yourself out of a rip current:
1.) Don’t panic.
If you do feel yourself being carried swiftly from the shore, it’s crucial that you don’t panic. Remain as calm as you can, and do not try to fight the current — you will only exhaust yourself without getting very far.
2.) Swim parallel to the shore.
Your instinct may be to go directly against the current and swim straight into the shore. Instead, swim sideways and move parallel to the shore. This will help you get out of the current so that you can then turn toward the beach and swim back in safely.
3.) Signal for help.
If you are unable to get out of the current or become exhausted, try to stay calm and float or tread water. Draw attention to yourself by yelling or waving your arms until help arrives.
As an observer on the beach, it’s important to not try and play the hero. If you see someone in trouble, don’t become a victim yourself by trying to swim out to save them — it’s likely that you’ll also get caught in the current. Instead, alert a lifeguard or call 9-1-1.
Odds are, you’ll never have to put these tips to use. But it can’t hurt to play it on the safe side and be over-prepared! Always swim in view of a lifeguard, and never go solo swimming. And, you can always feel free to seek more information from a member of the Lifeguard Corps. Further, be sure to follow all of Daytona Beach’s Guidelines and Safety Regulations to help ensure that you have a fun and safe visit to the shore!