With summer in full swing, there are endless ways families can experience a water adventure this summer, whether kayaking, snorkeling, boating or swimming. Alex Fogg, coastal resource manager, Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida, shares five water safety tips for travelers of all ages to keep in mind to safely enjoy the water this summer.
- Be aware of signage and beach flags. When heading to the beach, take a moment to read the signage to get an idea of what each flag means and what other information you should be aware of. Conditions change quickly, so be certain to monitor flags throughout the day and communicate with lifeguards on duty.
- If on a boat, kayak or paddle boat, always wear a life vest. Not only should you wear one because it’s the law, it’s a smart idea to be on the cautious side just in case anything happens.
- Be prepared if you’re going snorkeling or diving. Destin-Fort Walton Beach created new reef sites for snorkelers and divers of various skill sets to enjoy. If you plan on visiting one of the eight new reefs just offshore of beach accessways, make sure you are prepared. Each site has a map with important information about how to safely access the reef. Also, make sure you have a dive flag and some sort of flotation device to allow you to rest.
- If you are renting a pontoon boat or jet ski, go slow. Take your time on the water as pontoon boats and jet skis handle differently than a car or bike. Pay attention to other boats around you and the signs that provide information about proper speed.
- Whether you are boating, swimming, snorkeling or diving, make sure you let someone know what your plans are. In case of an emergency, it is always a good idea to let someone know your plans and where you are going. This is called filing a float plan and should be one of the first things you do.
Here’s to a summer filled with fun, activities and days spent on the water.
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