Top Tips for Staying Safe at the Seaside
A summer holiday just isn’t complete without a day at the beach! We’re lucky enough to have some of the best beaches in the UK (if not the world) here in Pembrokeshire which is why so many visitors flock to our shores each year. Whether you prefer to stay on the sand and top up your tan or take a dip in our lovely clean waters, a trip to the seaside is always a great way to escape and unwind but there’s also a serious side. To ensure that you have an enjoyable time (and come back in one piece) here are a few safety tips to bear in mind!
On the beach
- Taking precautions against the sun seems pretty obvious but on a breezy or hazy day it’s easy to underestimate the strength of UV rays. Wearing sunscreen, protecting your head and neck with a hat, covering up with light clothing and seeking shade during the hottest parts of the day are all important if you want to avoid sunburn and heatstroke.
- Though our beaches are rarely crowded, on busy days it can be a bit more of a challenge to keep track of the kids. Obviously, children should be well-supervised at all times but having a back-up plan in case they get lost is always a good idea. RNLI lifeguarded beaches have a scheme where your child is given a wristband to wear on which you put your contact details. It’s also sensible to agree on a distinctive central meeting point when you first arrive at the beach.
- Tides can be sneaky and deceptively fast – some flow in on unseen channels that snake around behind you without you realising but even when the tide comes in normally it can cut you off in minutes. Check the tide table before you set off and be aware of your surroundings, particularly when exploring rocks and coves.
In the sea
- Only Pembrokeshire’s busiest beaches are patrolled by lifeguards - it’s a good idea to choose one of these if you’re going to be having fun in the water as you have swift, expert help on hand if you get into difficulty.
- Respect the beach flags and understand what they mean. The space between the two red and yellow flags is patrolled by lifeguards and is the safest area for swimming. The place for water sports is marked by black and white chequered flags – this is not an area where people should swim! An orange windsock means beware of strong winds and a red flag indicates that it is dangerous to go into the water.
- Be realistic about your fitness level before taking a dip – the movement of the water makes swimming in the sea much harder than in a pool so make sure you’re up to the challenge.
- Rip currents can be very strong and drag you further out to sea. Don’t try and swim against the current, stand or wade if you can. If you can’t do that, try and swim parallel to the shore until you get free and then head for the beach. Just remember – if you think you’re in trouble, raise your hand and shout for help immediately.
- Inflatable items can be lots of fun in the pool but if you’re going to use them on the beach make sure children are closely supervised and they are only used very near to the shore. It’s not a great idea to use them in large waves and if the orange windsock is flying keep the inflatables on dry land unless you want to be blown out to sea!
- If you’re surfing, body-boarding or bobbing around in a dinghy, have fun but don’t get so caught up in it that you lose awareness of your surroundings. If you do get into difficulties, raise the alarm straight away and stay with your board or boat if possible as it will help keep you afloat.
The Pembrokeshire coast is a truly stunning place to visit - our team at Warpool Court can recommend some of the best local beaches to enjoy while you stay with us whether you need dog friendly, family friendly or quiet seclusion. We hope that by taking a few sensible precautions you can enjoy a fantastic beach holiday without any unnecessary drama!
In the event of a seaside emergency, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.