We’ve always talked about how unpredictable and dangerous the open waters can be. Here are some tips from the County of Los Angeles that will allow an individual to remain safe when swimming in the waters at beaches.
Firstly, always ensure that you are not swimming alone. In other words, it will be better to have strangers around compared to noone at all.
It is also important to stay in areas where a lifeguard is situated. When there aren’t any lifeguards at all, it will be at your own risk should you decide to venture out and swim. Hence, if you do not feel comfortable with that, it will be a wiser choice to stay on dry land. Let’s not forget that swimming when there are waves is a much different experience compared to swimming in the public swimming complexes. If there are lifeguards on duty, always follow their instructions as this is their expertise. If they make an announcement for everyone to evacuate the water due to harsh weather conditions, do listen and follow. Their number one priority is always your safety.
Do not dive head first especially in shallow waters. In Singapore, the water at the beaches aren’t crystal clear. Therefore, you won’t be able to see and gauge the actual depth of the water. So, always remember to go in feet first to prevent any accidents from occurring.
When there is a warning sign or red flag, take note of it and don’t go beyond it. It is usually such stubbornness of people can lead them to drown. If there are no such signs available, always keep a distance of a 100 feet (30.48m) from piers, jetties and rocks as permanent rip currents often exist alongside such structures.
Always be on the lookout for inshore holes. They are very dangerous especially towards non-swimmers and young children because they can sweep them into deep waters in a split of a second. Inshore holes can also often turn into channels that can cause rip currents.
A rip current is something that can pull you away from the shoreline. In this scenario, always remain calm and maintain your composure. It is pointless swimming against the current because it is like a treadmill which cannot be switched off. The only way to overcome it is by stepping to the side of it and swimming at an angle away from it and towards the shore. If you’re still unable to overcome it, do not panic, just continue to float and tread water till you are out of the current. If you’re still face with difficulty, try waving and yelling for help.
Happy Fish Swim School recommends all Singaporeans to attend the SwimSafer Open Water module to better equip themselves with knowledge and skills when swimming in beaches. Through this course, you’ll learn more about the open waters and how to navigate and survive in it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!