Beach safety tips
Summer is a time to enjoy the beach. Manitoba has more than 100,000 lakes you can visit. To stay safe, follow these tips from the Government of Manitoba’s Beach Safety Program:
Obey all flag warnings and safety signs
At staffed beaches
Staffed beaches have Beach Safety Officers on duty. Grand beach, Winnipeg beach, and Birds Hill Park are staffed beaches. Safety officers are not lifeguards.
What do Safety Officers do? They:
- guard the beaches
- check for dangers
- give public education
- help in search and rescue
- give first aid
Follow the flag warning system:
- Green flag – means “Good conditions. No danger.”
- Yellow flag – means “Moderate conditions. Swim with caution.”
- Red flag – means “Danger! Swimming not advised.”
- Red/White flag – means “Emergency evacuation. Take shelter.”
- No flag – means “No Beach Safety Officer on duty.”
All beaches in Manitoba also use safety signs to warn visitors:
- Green circle – Recommended activities (things you can safely do).
- Yellow triangle –Warning messages.
- Red circle with a red diagonal slash – Prohibited activities (things you cannot do).
There are other safety signs on the beach. They have a green border and the Beach Safety Program logo. Signs are written in English and French at St. Malo and St. Ambroise provincial parks.
Be water smart
- Swim only in the designated swimming areas. Never swim alone (use the Buddy System).
- Know how to swim. It is the best way to stay safe and enjoy the water.
- Watch your children at all times. Never leave them alone in the water.
- Always supervise your kids. You may be busy preparing meals or packing. Make sure that an adult is watching them.
- Don’t bring inflatable toys to the beach. The wind can blow them into deeper water. Children can follow them and get in danger.
- Weaker swimmers and young children should wear a life jacket.
- Stay in shallow water if you are not an experienced swimmer.
- Always check water depth before diving.
- Stay alert. Don’t drink alcohol before or while swimming.
- Learn basic lifesaving and first aid skills.
From the Manitoba Beach Safety Program page.
Other safety tips:
- Check the weather before going to the beach. Don’t go when the weather is not good. You can always go to the beach on a different day.
- Wear sunblock. Avoid direct sunlight from 11am to 3 pm. Use sunblock with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
- Prevent sunstroke or heat exhaustion. Always drink water (not coffee or alcohol). Bring an umbrella or stay in the shade.
- Protect your feet. Wear thick flip flops or a pair of shoes. Protect your feet from sharp objects and hot sand.
- Bring a first aid kit for any emergencies.
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Get the Manitoba Beach Safety brochure and read it before you go.
Also read Swimming safety for kids for additional tips.
Read 14 Manitoba beaches you need to explore this summer by Cyla Panin of Buzzfeed.
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