COMMON SENSE AND TIPS TO REMEMBER
Ocean conditions in Hawai‘i vary depending on the time of year, weather, and location, and they can change very quickly. Therefore, swimming at a beach where lifeguards are posted is strongly recommended. Use common sense, listen to lifeguards, and follow these guidelines as you enjoy Hawai‘i’s beaches.
CHECK THE CONDITIONS
before heading to the beach at this reliable website: oceansafety.ancl.hawaii.edu - it provides information and warnings about Hawai‘i’s beaches.
TALK TO A LIFEGUARD ABOUT CONDITIONS BEFORE GOING IN THE WATER
The lifeguard will tell you what to look out for, areas to avoid, and anything else you should be aware of.
PAY ATTENTION TO POSTED SIGNS AND WARNING FLAGS
on the beach that indicate dangerous conditions.
BEFORE GETTING INTO THE WATER, TAKE TIME TO OBSERVE
Waves come in sets, so a few minutes of calm could be followed by very large surf and dangerous waves. Watching the ocean for 10-15 minutes will give you a more complete picture of the conditions on that day.
NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE WAVES.
IF YOU GET CAUGHT IN A STRONG CURRENT, DON’T TRY TO FIGHT OR SWIM AGAINST IT.
It will eventually dissipate, so go with it until you can swim to shore. Wave your arms for help if necessary.
DO NOT TOUCH CORAL REEFS
Hawai‘i is surrounded by coral reefs that are home to a number of fish and marine life. They are beautiful, but touching the coral can harm or even destroy it. Coral reefs can also cause nasty, easily infected cuts. If you do get a reef cut, clean it thoroughly and see a doctor if it becomes red or swollen.
The sun is strong, and time on the beach can lead to uncomfortable and dangerous sunburns. Protect your skin and reapply every two hours or after getting out of the water. Choose a biodegradable sunscreen that won’t harm the marine life.