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Tragic water accidents happen quickly. The most common reason for aquatic mishaps is a lack of safety knowledge. While enjoying the beach or a pool, please follow these simple, life-saving tips: 

  • Know and understand the meaning of each flag found in the beach warning flag system. Signs and flags are posted at each beach public access area, and current Pensacola Beach surf conditions can be found online at
  •  Swim near a lifeguard station.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present.
  • Don’t rely on flotation devices such as rafts. You may lose them in the water.
  • Alcohol and swimming don’t mix.
  • Protect your head, neck, and spine - don’t dive into unfamiliar waters. Feet first, first time!
  • Don’t swim at dawn, dusk or at night, as these are times when sharks feed.
  • During thunderstorms, move inside to a building or vehicle.
  • Follow regulations and lifeguard directions. 

Tips for Parents and Pool Owners

Each year, thousands of American families experience drownings and non-fatal submersions and entrapments. Your greatest water safety assurance comes from adopting and practicing as many safety steps as possible.  Adding an extra safety step around the water can make all the difference. You can never know which safety measure will save a life - until it does.

Practice Supervision

  • Never take your eyes off children in the water - not for a minute! Always designate a “pool watcher.”

Install Barriers

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission strongly recommends that all residential pools have a 4 foot barrier, such as a fence with self-closing and self-latching gates. If the house is the fourth side of a barrier, secure doors with alarms that prevent children from wandering into the pool area.

Avoid Entrapments

  • Suction from a pool or spa drain can be so powerful it can trap an adult underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.
  • Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act.

Know Life-Saving Skills

  • Teach your children how to swim.
  • Know CPR so you can help save a life if a water emergency happens.
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so you can assist in an emergency.               

Securing Your Boat

The key to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe threatening weather is planning, preparation and timely action. Each boat owner needs a plan unique to the type of boat, the local boating environment, and the severe weather conditions likely to occur.

  • Never stay aboard your boat during a hurricane.
  • Contact local marinas and ask for advice. You will find marina operators knowledgeable and helpful. They can advise you on the best methods for securing your boat.
  • Remove small boats from the water and move them to a secure location. Ensure the trailer and boat are secured above likely flood areas. 
  • Remove all loose items. 
  • Ensure the boat is tied securely to the trailer. If your boat is too large to be removed from the water, move it to a safe haven well before the storm approaches. 
  • Double up and secure mooring lines. 
  • Secure all hatches and portals and cover windscreens. 
  • Take down mast whenever possible. 
  • Remove all loose items from decks and superstructure and from area around mooring. Leave nothing unsecured. 
  • Never forget that storms move quickly and they are unpredictable. You can always replace a boat;  you cannot replace a life.
Rip currents
Boats sit in a harbor on a sunny day.
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