Beach Safety

British beaches rely on a flag system to ensure the safety of the beach area.

Designated bathing area supervised by Lifeguards. All swimmers/Boogie and Body Boards etc. Always bathe between the red and yellow flags.


For all surfcraft over 5 feet in length. Includes canoes, windsurfers etc.
Always surf between the black and white flags.




The red flag indicates that the sea conditions are dangerous.
Never enter the sea when the red flag is flying

Always accompany children to the sea and make sure you stay in the correct patrolled area and within a reasonable depth.
Always listen and obey the Lifeguards advice.
Never take inflatables into the sea.
Never swim alone or right after eating or drinking alcohol.
Never leave valuables unattended.

...have a rest after eating.
Always wait at least an hour after large meals before swimming, and never drink alcohol before going for a swim.

...go swimming with a friend.
No matter how good a swimmer you are, you may need help. And never let young children out of your sight.

...take care with inflatables.
An offshore wind can blow you out to sea in seconds. Remermber, offshore winds often make the sea look very calm and flat. Check which way the flags are blowing.

...get out if you feel cold.
Even strong swimmers get tired in the cold.

...keep an eye on the tides.
It is very easy to get cut off by the tide, especially on flat beaches where it may come in much faster than you expect!

...take notice of signs and flags.
Remember, lifeguards patrol the area between red-and-yellow flags, a black-and-white check flag means surfing only, and a red flag means no swimming.

...swim near piers, rocks or groynes.
Dangerous currents can develop, and you can get knocked into them very easily.

...dive into shallow water.
If you can't tell how deep it is, don't dive! Lots of spinal injuries occur each year because people dive into shallow water.