- Study the ocean for currents first to see whether it is safe enough to enter.
- Always have a partner nearby-do not swim alone.
- Do not allow toddlers or young children to swim without supervision.
- Do not swim directly after eating. Allow plenty of time for food to digest.
- Do not chew gum or eat while swimming. You could easily choke.
- Watch out for the dangerous “toos” :
- too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun.
Know the ocean currents :
When swimming in the sea, it is vitally important that you understand the role of currents.
A lateral current runs parallel to the shore, and the danger when swimming in one of these is that you may get dragged into a rip current. Rip currents are strong flows of water returning to the sea. If you get caught in a rip current you shouldn't panic but swim back to shore at a forty-five degree angle. If you are unable to do this, then swim parallel to the shore for a while, and then try the forty-five degree angle. If this fails, wave and call for help.
Backwash and shore break can be dangerous for youngsters near the waters edge.
Backwash is the return of the water from the shore to the sea, and can be strong enough to drag a small person back into the sea.
Shore break is even more dangerous, and is where a large wave breaks on the shore. If you are underneath such a wave you might sustain a nasty back injury. In the event that you cannot escape from an impending shore break the best thing to do would be to dive into the base of the wave.
When in doubt Stay OUT !