Stay safe this Summer!

Summer beach holidays are going to be more popular than ever this year, and so with the hustle and bustle on the sand and in the sea, we want to make sure that everyone can have an enjoyable and safe trip away.

If a beach is the destination you’re heading to this Summer, then we’ve got a few tips to help you stay safe.

Firstly, always head to a lifeguarded beach. Never surf or swim at a beach that is not patrolled, especially if you’re not used to the water, as you won’t know how to be safe in the sea.

RNLI Lifeguards watching over a a busy beach.

When you are in the water, particularly if you’re just splashing around, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground, as they will act as your anchor. If there are strong currents, when your feet come off the ground there is a possibility for you to drift out of your depths. We always advise you to keep your feet on the floor, especially at beaches that you don’t know.

Whereas at lifeguarded beaches, the lifeguards on duty will know the location well and can place you in the safest area whilst watching over the beach. The safest area may also differ during high and low tide.

Therefore, to make sure you take advantage of all the lifeguards’ safety information, it’s worth knowing what flags they use and why.

There are four main flags used at beaches around the UK (and even abroad), these are:

Red and yellow beach flag - safe to swim and bodyboard.

Red and yellow beach flag

This is a lifeguarded area, and it’s the safest area to swim, bodyboard and use inflatables. The lifeguards know the beach and always set these flags up in the safest area.

Black and white chequered beach flag - surfing area.

Black and white chequered beach flag

This is the surfing area, for surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. As well as the launch and recovery area for kitesurfers and windsurfers.

This area is designated to keep these types of crafts away from other bathers, so you should never swim or bodyboard here.

Red beach flag - Danger the sea is out of bounds

Red beach flag

Danger! This flag indicates that the sea is out of bounds. Never go in the water under any circumstances when the red flag is flying.

Orange windsock - indicates wind consitions.

Orange windsock

Indicates offshore or strong wind conditions and directions. Never use inflatables when the windsock is flying, we advise also to never use inflatables in an offshore wind!

Our surf and coasteering instructors all have beach lifeguard qualifications, ensuring a safe environment for you to learn in. As well as this, within all our surf lessons, we will also give you the knowledge you need to go out and surf in a safe area. Including learning about flags, beach conditions and equipment.

We definitely recommend a surf lesson when learning, to push you in the right way and to give you that boost of confidence.

So why not book a surf lesson with OA Surf Club today at our Bude Surf School!

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