Watersport Safety at the New Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore has some of the best beaches around which provide tons of opportunities for fun in the sun. When engaging in any sort of water sport however, it is very important that safety be the number one priority at all times. Following some basic guidelines will ensure that your trip to the beaches of the New Jersey Shore is fun and safe:

Private beaches usually have life-guard towers patrolled by qualified life savers. You should always stay in the designated areas of the beach for swimming, surfing, or whatever other water sport you are engaging in. Not only will you have a trained lifeguard available to help you if something goes wrong, you will also be sure that the water around you are safe for swimming.

Look for the flags.
Flags are used at public beaches to warn swimmers about the condition of the surf. A green flag means that the water is safe for swimming, a yellow flag indicates that you should proceed with caution due to strong waves or currents, and a red flag means that swimming is cancelled because the surf is too dangerous. Always watch for the flags, and never swim on red flagged beaches.

Obey any warning signs.
The signs are there for a reason. They may communicate an important warning message, or let you know where the designated area is for your water sport of choice. Warning signs are there to protect you and those around you, and must be obeyed at all times.

Keep a safe distance from piers and rocks while swimming or surfing.
The currents in these areas are often extremely strong, and may be too much, even for experienced swimmers. Also, serious injury could result from being thrown into a pier or a rock by a strong wave. Keep a respectful distance of anything that could be hazardous.

Never swim alone.
Having a buddy or two with you is always a good idea in case you run into trouble. Your friend will be able to help you, or go for help if needed. If you’re by yourself and something happens to you, it could be hours before anyone notices that you’re gone.

Don’t swim out too far.
Swim parallel to the shore so that you don’t swim too far out to sea, and find yourself too tired to swim back. Water out in the open ocean is also much colder than the water closer to shore.

Don’t dive into shallow water.
Diving into too shallow water can not only lead to serious spinal injury – including paralysis – you might also be knocked out when your head strikes the ocean or pool floor, and drown. Always remember, your motto should be “feet first, all the time”.

When body-surfing, be sure to always keep at least one arm in front of you to protect your head and neck.

Always wear your life-jackets.
It doesn’t matter whether you are fishing, waterskiing, on a jet ski, or just having fun out in your motorboat. You must wear a life-jacket at all times. They may seem bulking and uncomfortable, but they will always keep your head above water, even if you are unconscious.

Rip tides are strong currents that pull back out into the ocean. Should you be caught in a rip current, the most important thing to remember is to not panic; don’t try to fight the current by swimming against it. You’ll only tire yourself out. Rather, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.

Water sports and alcohol do not mix.
Alcohol dulls your reaction times, makes an accident far more likely, and means that, if you are inebriated, you will be less able to help yourself or others if something goes wrong. Alcohol will also dehydrate you and leave you more susceptible to the heat. Safe the alcohol for when you’re safely ashore.

Wear sunscreen and drink water.
No matter what water sport you’re participating in, sunscreen and water are vital Sunscreen will help to prevent skin cancer from the sun’s harmful rays, and water will keep your body hydrated, and help to protect you against heat stroke.

1 Comment

  1. Ethan

    There are colored flags out in the ocean at Ocean City, New Jersey… They are colors, black, blue, white, yellow, and red… What are their purpose?