Beach Safety: Flag System


Beach Safety: Flag System

Destin and the Beaches of South Walton are generally known for calm clear waters rolling gently onto sand that is white as sugar. The calm and quiet surf lulls beachgoers and makes for the most picturesque portrait backdrop. Countless beach selfies cover the pages of social media outlets and phone backgrounds. And, it’s because our family friendly landscape and geography makes for the perfect experience – and that’s why so many people come here as opposed to other domestic locales.  Since so many travel to our waters each year, it behooves our local (and State) officials to put safety measures in place. That’s why you’ll find signs posted at beach accesses, and why you’ll see colored flags flying high over walkways leading down to the sand. For beach safety.

Know Before You Go

That flag system is designed to demonstrate beach conditions to beach goers. The program is a statewide effort to ensure that those who would be going into the water understand what dangers may be present. As mentioned earlier, Destin and the Beaches of South Walton are so popular because of their beauty and safety. It’s hard to see a rip current, or marine life from the sand and many people may not know what to look for. So, local officials check the conditions in the morning each day and fly the flag demonstrating what they have found. The system saves countless lives each year, but it’s only useful if understood.

Flag Color Designation

The colored flag system ranges from a single green to double red. A single green flag means that it is a perfect beach day. The water is calm, the currents are safe and you better have your camera ready for great pictures! Next is a single yellow flag. The single yellow flag designation, means that the waters are still relatively calm but that all who enter the water should exercise caution. A single red flag means that there is high surf and strong currents. All water participants should exercise caution and if someone is not a strong swimmer they should avoid deep water.  Then, double red flag. This is the only multiple flag designation. On these days, no one is allowed in the water. The waves big and the currents severe. Even experienced, seasoned swimmers can become trapped in a dangerous situation. Often, local law enforcement will patrol the beach to ensure that no one enters the water. On these days, it’s best to sit and watch the large waves from the safety of a boardwalk or balcony. Finally, the purple flag. This designation refers to marine life in the water.

Be Safe & Have Fun

Abiding by the flag designation helps ensure that your beach experience is good. We at Excel are here to do whatever we can to ensure your safety and enjoyment when making use of our services. And, we hope that when you visit your family enjoys our local treasure as much as we do. Next time you’re in town stop by our Sea Oats or Pompano Joe’s location and talk to our guys. We rent quality waverunners, stand up paddle boards and more!

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