Beach Safety | 7 Tips To Avoid Drowning At The Beach
The tropical island of Barbados is known for its pristine sands and calm clear blue crystal-like waters – it really is no wonder why it’s dubbed as the playground for the rich and famous!
But, beyond the breathtaking nature of the sea, it is also important not to take the sea for granted – so here are 7 tips and measures to take to avoid drowning while at the beach.
1. Do Not Drink And Swim
Despite the fact that Barbados is the land that invented rum, we most certainly do not promote drinking while swimming. First of all, not only is alcohol and heat a bad combination but, alcohol, heat and swimming is an even worse combination!
Alcohol interferes with not only your judgement but, your balance and coordination and one thing is for sure, you’ll hate to be in trouble in the middle of the ocean – in the middle of nowhere – with limited capabilities in order to help your own self!
Just don’t do it.
2. Swim At Beaches Supervised By Lifeguards
Even for the most advanced swimmer, it is always a good idea to swim at beaches which are supervised by lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to notice when someone is in the slightest bit of distress while taking a swim.
But, who needs a lifeguard? I can save myself – said no one ever!
While in Barbados, beaches supervised by lifeguards are:
Dover Beach; Bath Beach; Bathsheba; Crane Beach; Batt’s Rock Beach; Needham’s Point; Brandon’s Beach; Enterprise (Miami Beach); Folkestone Marine Park and Museum; Pebbles Beach; Brownes Beach; Fairmount Royal Pavilion; Needham’s Point; Maxwell Beach; Heywoods Beach and Rockley Beach.
3. Educate Yourself On The Marine Life That Resides In The Sea
Now, this section really isn’t meant to scare the weak of heart – so bare with me here because Barbados has a variety of colourful and vibrant sea creatures which reside in the immaculately kept reefs that lie in our waters with few creatures to be afraid of. But, you may come across:
The Man-O-War – which can be difficult to spot as this jellyfish lookalike is translucent in appearance with a light blue tint. But, there is no need to be alarmed as its sting is rarely deadly to people but it is certainly quite painful – so I’ve heard!!
If you happen to experience the sting of a ‘man-o-war’, pour some hot water on the affected area or try the local remedy of rubbing raw aloe on the area.
Sea Urchins – can be easily identified as they are round in shape and black in colour with long spines. You can also experience quite a bit of pain with this sea creature if you step on it but you can easily experience relief by removing the spines which protrude from the skin. On the other hand, if the spines get under your skin, it’s best to leave it or set help from a medical professional.
Please note that these rules should not be applied to children and cannot be applied to persons experiencing an allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical attention if your child is affected by one or if you believe the person is experiencing an allergic reaction as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So now you know what to look for, you’ll be less in a state of panic if you do happen to come across a Man-O-War or Sea Urchin – but I’ve only come across the Man-O-War once and with any luck, you’ll probably never see a Man-O-War or Sea Urchin!
4. Know The Water
Even though Barbados is known for it’s calm and clear waters, the West Coast is different from the South Coast and, the East is different from the North.
Generally, the best two coasts for swimming is the West Coast and the South Coast. The West Coast, in my opinion, is the calmest coast whereas you will experience gentle waves perfect for body surfing on the South of the island. On the other hand, the East of the island is known for bigger waves and is a surfers paradise whereas the North is known for cliffs where the waves violently crash.
Therefore, as a rule of thumb, stick to the West and the South of the island!
5. Don’t Go To The Beach Alone
It’s always great to having a swimming buddy with you. If you happen to experience difficulty, there will be someone close to assist you.
6. Never Swim When The Red Flag Is Flying
Please obey the safety flags placed on the beach by lifeguards as they are not there to simply beautiful the surroundings. Yellow flags are placed on the beach to tell sea bathers to take caution as swimming conditions may be risky. Red flags, on the other hand, implores swimmers to stay clear as it is quite dangerous and not suitable for swimming.
7. Keep Your Inflatable Float On The Sand Or In The Pool
Lastly, please keep your inflatable floats for the pool only! I know it’s quite hard to resist the temptation as those gorgeous yellow pineapple floats (and not to mention those colourful donut floats) are prime Instragramable moments, but, if you’re not careful (which people hardly ever are when taking photos), you’ll be across the sea in seconds in a state a panic.
Now that you’re taken those extra measures of safety at the beach, be sure to have a great time!