Swimming in high tides can be dangerous, especially for young children or inexperienced swimmers. Before you plan your next beach trip, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants you and your family to stay safe and keep these safety tips in mind:
- Before heading to the beach, check your local beach conditions to identify the wave forecast: When waves are two to three feet high or greater, you are likely to have strong rip currents.
- Never swim alone: In case of an emergency, having a partner ensures someone is there to call for help.
- Always be cautious, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches: Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
- If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy, and think clearly: Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore. If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
- If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
- If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard: If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1. Throw the person a floatation device and yell instructions on how to remain afloat and away from the current. Do not enter the water to rescue them.