Safety on the beach

See also:

Beach safety flags

Beach flag - red flag

Red flag

  • The red flag indicates danger.
  • Never enter the water when the red flag is flying, under any circumstances.

Beach flag - orange windsock

Orange windsock

  • The orange windsock indicates offshore wind conditions.
  • You should never use an inflatable when the sock is flying.

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Stay safe stay alive

On the beach:

  • Always swim parallel to (along) the shore
  • Do not swim just after a meal
  • Do not swim or play on or near groynes, rocks or breakwaters
  • Children near water should always be supervised
  • Be careful of potholes on sandy beaches covered by the sea
  • Do not panic if in difficulty in the sea. Lie on your back, keep still, raise one arm and shout. Most of us float naturally if we keep still - try to look up as you lie

When in, or near water:

  • Go with a friend if possible
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  • Read and obey notices and never cover them
  • Report missing lifesaving equipment (and anyone taking it or breaking it)
  • Do not leave litter on the beach. Glass and opened cans are very dangerous
  • Do not touch strange objects, tell the coastguard or police about them
  • Do not go out on air beds or other inflatables unless it is tethered to the shoreline and watched by an adult.

 Going sailing:

  • Check weather conditions with the coastguard/weather centre and listen to the weather forecast.
  • 'Sign On' with the Coastguard Yacht and Boat Safety Scheme - information from any Coastguard Station.

Board sailing:

  • Never try to teach yourself.
  • Wear a wetsuit.
  • Do not go out too far and be considerate of other water users.
  • Keep your rig in good condition and do not leave it unattended.
  • Never leave your board and attempt to swim ashore

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Tombstoning is where someone leaps from somewhere such as the Shoreham Harbour arms, Worthing Pier or water in general without knowing how deep the water is and where diving and jumping is prohibited.

Tombstoning is taken extremely seriously by the Coastal Office and a fixed penalty notice will be issued to the individuals where this activity happens.

The message is clear, don't do it! Don't let alcohol, drugs or peer pressure affect your judgement. Even if you think you are jumping safely, children may be watching and copy your actions.

As a seaside community we should all be aware that water depth alters with the tide; the water may be shallower than it seems, in addition submerged objects like rocks may not be visible; the shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim, and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.

Even during fine weather the risks associated with the sea are ever present, this includes pier jumping and playing on rock groynes.

For more information please see:

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Page last updated: 05 August 2022

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