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Atlantic City Beach Patrol Helps You Know Before You Go

Posted by E.G.D. on January 3, 2012

Seascape, Atlantic City, New Jersey (Painting by William Trost Richards, Wikimedia Commons, USPD-1923)

Though there has been some debate among the Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches team as to the wisdom of two safety-oriented posts in a row, the absolute best “tally” article Jody found recently was the Atlantic City Beach Patrol Beach Safety Tips.  So, I say what the hey?  I like it, and I’m doing the writeup! Seriously, this is very likely the best list of beach safety tips I’ve seen, if only for sheer practicality.  Check it out:

1. Swim Near A Lifeguard… Obey posted signage/ rules of the beach.  These are always good rules to follow.  Please remember that if you can’t see the lifeguard, odds are he or she can’t see you and may not be able to reach you in time if you need help.

2. I’m going to quote this next one in its entirety, because every word of it is important: Don’t Fight the Current: When first arriving at the beach read rip current signage. Some 80% of rescues by lifeguards at ocean beaches are caused by rip currents. These currents are formed by surf and gravity, because once surf pushes water up the slope of the beach, gravity pulls it back. This can create concentrated rivers of water moving offshore. Some people mistakenly call this an undertow, but there is no undercurrent, just an offshore current. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t fight it by trying to swim directly to shore. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim parallel to shore will bring you to safety. Remember “when in doubt don’t go out”!

3. Always Obey The Safety Directions of the Lifeguards.  Goodness knows, they have a better overall knowledge of beach conditions than you do!

4. Leash Your Board: Bodyboards MUST only be used with a leash. Leashes are attached to the board and wrist. They are available in most shops where surfboards and bodyboards are sold or rented. With a leash, the user will not become separated from the floatation device.  Interestingly, this one had never occurred to me.  I understand this is also imperative when surfing, though the leash generally attaches to a surfer’s ankles.

5. Skin Protection.  We in the Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches team are extremely careful not to go to the beach without hats, sunglasses, coverups, and sunscreen.  Trust us on this one.  A friend of mine was once hospitalized for a severe sunburn.  It can happen, and it is not pretty.

6. Stay Hydrated.  We in the high, dry American desert could tell you that, and we’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean shore.  Granted, I assume this tip applies anywhere and everywhere you might spend an extended period of time outside.

7. Finally, here’s a really good tip for people to properly utilize the lifeguard at a lifeguarded beach: Other Lifeguard Services: Report lost children to nearest lifeguard. Instruct children that lifeguard stations are safe areas and that the lifeguard is their friend. Lifeguards are here for all water and land related emergencies.

Tada!  Isn’t this a great list?  It’s awesome advice, whether you plan to be in Atlantic City, New Jersey or at any beach in the world.  So, safe beachgoing everyone, and don’t forget your sunscreen.  -E.G.D.

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