Safety is a key factor in ensuring an enjoyable beach trip and there are tips to follow to help make any visit to seashore a safe one.
For visitors who may not be familiar with the area, one of the most important things they can do as they claim a favorite spot in the sand is to make note of the address of the house or location on the beach strand where they are located. Public beach accesses typically have a sign or post with a name or number.
The location is helpful for emergency responders if they are called in the case of an emergency.
Having fun at the beach often includes building sandcastles and digging in the sand.
But when you pick up and head home, be sure to fill in those holes before you leave.
They can be dangerous for people walking on the beach who don’t see them, particularly at night. They can also disturb sea turtle nesting on the beach and hatchlings leaving a nest.
“They can be dangerous because people can fall, and they can be a problem for turtle nesting. If a hatchling falls in one, they can’t get out,” Surf City Tourism Director Allan Libby said.
Emerald Isle Fire Chief Bill Walker said holes lining the beach can also create a problem for emergency response vehicles trying to make quick access to a location on the beach.
If you are venturing into the water, don’t go alone.
Emergency responders say it is best to swim with a buddy in case someone gets into trouble in the water.
These and other tips are among those that Emerald Isle Fire Department’s Beach Patrol has shared as part of a free beach safety class it has offered to the public this summer. The next class is scheduled for July 8 at 1 p.m. at the town meeting room adjacent to the police department at 3500 Emerald Drive.
The class topics also include lightning safety, spinal injury prevention and the meaning of warning flags on the beach.
When coming to the beach, people are reminded to bring everything they need, including sunscreen, an umbrella or canopy for shade, water to stay hydrated, food (particularly diabetics) any medications a person may need to take during the day, and a cell phone.
While not all area beaches are lifeguard protected, beachgoers may notice flags flying at public beach accesses.
A yellow flag is an indication to use caution in the water. A red flag typically indicates that going in the water is not recommended, and if people do, they should not go further than knee deep.
In some cases a black flag will fly and no one should be swimming or playing in the water.