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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{Travel} Summer Time Safety - Beach Flag Warnings & Rip Current Safety

     If you haven't been to the beach yet this summer, you sure are missing out! It sure is hot enough to spend all day, everyday out there. If you have been to the beach then you have seen {or should have saw, and been looking for} the Beach Flags that are flying out on all beaches, at least the beaches here on the Gulf Coast! These signs are very important. It will tell you what you need to be aware of, just because the water looks nice and calm, doesn't mean it is.
     On this morning in particular the flags we're flying Yellow & Purple, {Ugh LSU colors, they really should have FL Gator Colors for flags, they should would be prettier!} Anyways, if you can't tell I am ready for Football Season! These particular color flags mean Moderate Surf or Conditions & Dangerous Marine Life. Now, before you go freaking out over the words "Dangerous Marine Life" this could just mean Jellyfish, but still be on the look out especially swimming in the gulf, near any fishermen, or near a long pier that fishing is allowed on. This sometimes draws sharks near, I don't know about you, but I don't swim with sharks! Even though there was a yellow flag flying which means Moderate Surf or Conditions, the Gulf was very calm.

Even on a calm day like this the water can still be rough which is why they have a Moderate Surf or Conditions. Now if you do not live on the Gulf Coast and do not watch the tides change often you would have no idea why they consider this moderate surf or conditions, there is no surf at all. However, if you are from the coast and have lived on & been around water then you would know that this could change at any time and you never know how bad the rip current is.
{we will talk about a rip tide in just a moment}  

Here is the beach sign that is posted at all local beach accesses, and on most beaches somewhere. If you have never really taken a look at this or even if your not sure what it means, take a little time to educate yourself, so you can be safe while on the water. Anything can happen in the blink of an eye and you need to know what means what! 

As I walked further down the beach, looking for shells with the kids, I noticed a Sandbar where the waves we're crashing a bit rougher then they had been, as we approached it I noticed that the rip current was very strong. If you are not sure of what a rip current is or you have never eve heard of one here is the definition: 

 rip current, commonly referred to simply as a rip, or by the misnomer "rip tide", is one specific kind of water current that can be found near beaches. It is a strong, localized, and rather narrow current of water that is near the surface of the water, and which moves directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves.[1] Rip currents can occur at any beach where there are breaking waves: on oceans, seas, and large lakes. The location of rip currents can be unpredictable: some tend to reoccur always in the same place, whereas others can appear and disappear suddenly at various locations near the beach.

Here is what we were looking at and you can clearly tell the water is much more rough in this particular area then it was anywhere else on the beach. If you stood and watched you could see all of the different waves the water was coming in and how quickly it was being sucked out. 

If you ever find yourself out in the water and you did get caught in a Rip Tide the #1, Golden Rule, is DON'T PANIC! If you panic you will not be able to get out of it and it will just continue to drag you further and further out to sea. This is what I mean about being safe at the beach and knowing what is going on. Here is the sign that also posted with the Flag Warning signs to keep you safe!
If you are ever caught in a Rip Current- SWIM PARALLEL TO THE SHORE to get out of the current. Once you are out you can then swim back into shore. It is always important to watch children when on the Gulf! If you feel you need help understanding anything you can always look it up on the wonderful Internet or you can go to the visitors center in the town you are visiting and they can give you all the information there. 

Gulf Shores Orange Beach, AL

*Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
Phone Number and Email: 1-800-745-SAND (7263) or

It was such a beautiful morning out on the beach, letting the kids run a little energy off, pick up seashells, and mama get a little exercise in! We even enjoyed breakfast that morning out at the Pavilions with my mom before she went on her morning exercise walk out on the beach. There is something so relaxing about being on the beach in the morning before everything and everyone gets good and awake. Here are some other pictures we took that morning. 

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