Look for Red Flags!
Swimming in the Gulf is much different than in a swimming pool. It is important to respect the strength of the sea and the marine life that lives there.
Never swim alone. Always stay in groups. Don’t wander too far from shore.
Stay within designated swimming areas. Don’t swim near piers, pilings and platforms. Exercise caution when swimming in areas between sandbars or near steep dropoffs.
Do not swim in areas being used by fishermen. Avoid swimming in areas where schools of fish are present. Diving seabirds are good indicators of areas to avoid.
Alcohol and swimming do not mix.
Use extra caution when water is murky. Avoid being in the water during dusk, night time or twilight hours.
Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and clothing.
Stay informed of local weather and beach conditions.
Beware of rip currents and undertow. These are turbulent, fast-flowing currents that pull swimmers into deep water and away from the beach. They typically form at breaks in sandbars, and also near structures such as jetties and piers.
If caught in a strong current, remain calm. Fighting the current can exhaust you. Swim in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle – away from the current – toward shore.
If unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore.
If you feel unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call or wave for help.
Brought to you by the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau.