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OCEAN
SAFETY BASICS
by Aquatic Manager, Bibi Hendry, W.S.I.T., L.G.I., A.F.P., RN & Pro Bodyboarder,
Delori Manus, W.S.I., L.G.I.




1.  Minimize your risk
If you are not familiar with the shoreline, do not visit unguarded beaches. Dangerous waves and currents do not happen randomly and most human involvement is a matter of choice, not chance.

Never go out alone!


If In Doubt, Don’t Go Out!!

Many ocean-related accidents are caused by:

 A lack of understanding of ocean conditions 

 A lack of caution

 Under estimating the ocean

 Impaired judgment due to ALCOHOL
   consumption

2.
Learn the Conditions …

Always talk to a lifeguard to determine the safety level of the ocean and shoreline.

Find out about:

 Strong currents and waves

 High surf

 Waves that break directly on the shore
   (shore breaks)

 Hidden rocks

 Dangerous shore areas 

 

 

Marine Life

Blue Bottle or Portuguese Man-o-War

Prevalent on North Eastern shores

First Aid Procedures:

 Pour warm water over infected area to get
   excess stingers off (DO NOT REMOVE 
   STINGER WITH HANDS)

 Pour  vinegar on sting

 Heat or Ice for pain

 Seek Medical Attention for difficulty
   breathing, increased swelling or pain


Boxed Jellyfish

 Swarm South and West Shores 7-11 days 
   after the full moon

 Obey posted signs!!!

   FA:  Same as Portuguese Man-o-War

 

Stinging Seaweed

 A.k.a.:  “Stinging Limu”

 Blue-green, blackish-green, or olive green
   seaweed, looks like dark matted masses of
   hair or felt, usually grows in clumps

 Seasonal: June – September

 Causes: Itching, burning sensation and
    blistering rash on body

 FA: Remove swimsuit immediately. Wash
   skin and swimsuit vigorously with soap and
   water. 

 Apply  heat or  ice for discomfort

 Seek medical attention for difficulty 
   breathing or persistent pain. 

 

3. Understand the behavior of the waves and currents

a.
Waves

 Swells arrive in groups separated by lulls.

 Watch the ocean for several minutes before 
   entering the water. A calm sea may change 
   in an instant when sets (group of waves)
   arrives.

 Don't be fooled by the variability of the 
   waves!

b. Currents

 Where there are waves, there is current.

 Rip currents in the surf zone can instantly
   carry you out to sea.

 If you are caught in a current, swim parallel
   to shore until you are out of the current,
   then swim at an angle away from the current 
   to shore.

 Or, stay calm and call or wave for help.


4. 
Remember to S.O.A.K.

Before entering the water:

 Study the conditions.

 Observe the activities of others in the ocean.

 Ask the lifeguards about current conditions.

 
Know your limits in the water.



 
Always check surf reports when choosing a 
   beach location

 Always obey posted signs on beach

 Never under estimate the ocean

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