Pin on the map of Florida showing the location of Destin

Things to Know at the Beach

Visiting the beach is a fun and memorable experience.  Whether you've come to simply relax on the beach or want to swim and enjoy recreational water activities, there are some important things to know when visiting the beach and enjoying our local waterways. 

Along the beaches of South Walton and Destin, we use the Florida Department of Environmental Protection beach flag warning system to alert beach goers of surf conditions. Conditions in the Gulf can change throughout the day and at times can elevate to RED or DOUBLE RED FLAG conditions alerting swimmers of dangerous rip currents. On red flag days, knee deep is too deep and on double red flag days, the water is closed for swimming.

For today's conditions in Walton County (Miramar Beach/30A) click here or for today's conditions in Okaloosa County (Destin/Ft. Walton Beach) click here.

The meanings of the Flag Warning System Flag Colors: 
- Double Red Flag: Water is closed to public (dangerous water conditions)
- Red Flag: High Hazard (high surf and/or strong currents)
- Yellow Flag: Medium Hazard (moderate surf and/or currents)
- Green Flag: Low Hazard (calm conditions, exercise caution)
- Purple Flag: Marine Pests Present (jellyfish, stingrays, dangerous fish)

How do you know if there is a rip current? The easiest way to identify a rip current is if there is an area of calm water dividing the breaking waves. Other indicators may include: 
- Darker color surf, indicating deeper water
- Murky brown water caused by sand stirred up on the bottom
- Smaller unorganized waves, alongside more evenly breaking waves over a sand bar
- Waves breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip current
What should you do if you get caught in a rip current? 
First and foremost, don’t panic! It is scary being pulled away from shore but it is important to relax and let the current take you out. Once the current begins to dissipate, swim parallel to shore to get out of the current and then swim back in. 

What should you do if a friend or loved one is pulled out in a rip current? CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and send someone to find a life guard or sherriff's department personnel. Try not to lose sight of the victim. DO NOT ENTER THE WATER without a floatation device as you will be caught in the rip current too.

What are other ways to keep your friends and family safe? When swimming in any open body of water be aware of your surroundings.  Swim within the first sandbar. Do not swim in the deeper/darker water. Swim with a buddy. Take frequent breaks. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Reapply sunscreen after swimming (even if it says waterproof, it wears in the surf). 

How can you help us keep our local marine life safe? Remove all belongs and trash from the beach each day. (Local ordinances allow items to be removed and thrown in the trash if left on the beach overnight.) Fill in any holes that you dig to protect nesting sea turtles that come onto our beaches at night. Do not walk on the dunes and damage the fragile eco-system. Stay on designated paths and boardwalks. We encourage our guests to enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and simply leave them in the same condition for the next beach goer or marine life that call these beaches home. 

At Newman-Dailey, we are focused on safety, passionate about our coastal environment and strive to provide exceptional service through our 100% performance guarantee to ensure our guests enjoy a specatcular beach vacation filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Learn more about our beach communities or beach vacation rentals online

See you @ the beach! 

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Published by Tracy Louthain
Friday, May 26, 2017