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Staying Safe While Having Fun: Beach Safety Tips

  By  Nora Battle
Family playing on the beach

It's finally summer at The Beach! Hurray! It's about time that you beach with the best right here in Myrtle Beach. Here are a few tips to make sure your visit is as fun and safe as possible--whether you’re swimming with the kids, hunting for seashells or simply laying out:

  1. Beat the Heat and Block the Sun - Always, always, ALWAYS wear sunscreen. Regular application of sunscreen protects against painful sunburn and sun damage. Reapply after swimming and always bring along a hat and UV-protected sunglasses.

  2. Stay Hydrated - Dehydration is a real threat that can sneak up on you in the summer sun. If you’re planning on being in the sun, drink at least two cups of water an hour. Be mindful of alcohol consumption, which can also dehydrate and is dangerous if you plan on swimming in the ocean.

  3. Look Out for Rip Currents - Avoid rip currents by paying attention to swim advisories and notices. If you are caught in a rip current, try to remain calm. It’s dangerous to fight a rip current by trying to swim directly back to shore. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you feel the current relax and then swim diagonally back to shore. If you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself by lifting your arm and yelling for help.

  4. Avoid Jellyfish or other Marine Life - The best way to avoid jellyfish stings is by being aware of your surroundings. Jellyfish have clear bodies with tentacles that can sting hanging below. If you see a jellyfish, get out of the water and alert others. Dead jellyfish found on shore should also be avoided as they can still sting. If you are stung, treat the area immediately with vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Lifeguards should be able to help treat a jellyfish sting.

  5. Stay Away from Piers - It's recommended that beachgoers avoid swimming near piers. In fact, aquatic activities, such as swimming and surfing is prohibited within 75 yards of piers in the City of Myrlte Beach. The fishing activity on piers attract aquatic animals so it's best to stay safe by keeping your distance from piers when in the water. Swimming near a lifeguard is advised. 

  6. Watch for Severe Weather - Pay attention to weather reports before heading out to the beach. Lightning can be a real danger to people swimming in the ocean or laying on the beach. If you hear thunder or see lightning, get out of the water and off of the beach until the storm passes.

  7. Designate a Water Watcher - Additionally, make sure you always keep a close watch on children-even confident swimmers-at all times and choose a beach area with a stationed lifeguard. You can have just as much fun while playing it safe—so get out there and enjoy our 60 miles of picture-perfect coastline this summer.

  8. Know Tides & Beach Conditions - Beaches along the Grand Strand indicate the beach water conditions through warning flags, displayed near the beach access points. These beach warning flags are universal, yet not many people know what each flag means. Double Red: Water closed to public use ; Red: High hazard (high surf and strong current), Swimming is allow but may be limited ; Yellow: Caution, Medium Hazard (Moderate Surf and Current) ; Green: Safe to Swim (calm conditions) ; Purple Flag: Presence of dangerous marine life (jellyfish, sting ray, dangerous fishes).

  9. Don't dive into the surf (protect your neck!) - It's important, especially when swimming in the ocean, to enter the water feet first. The depth of the water can change and be different from one area to another

Nora Battle

As a lifelong South Carolinian and nearly lifelong Grand Strand resident, Nora Battle knows there is lots to love about the Myrtle Beach area. She is a full-time stay-at-home mom to two boys, ages 3 and 6 months, and a part time travel contributor for Visit Myrtle Beach. She’s passionate about all things Myrtle Beach, and knowledgeable about what makes the destination such a smart choice for families. Nora especially enjoys dining out, bargain hunting, and spending time outdoors adventuring with her children, husband (also a Grand Strand native) and her two dogs.