Beach Safety Tips: How To Remain Safe At The Beach

Western Australia is known to have some of the best beaches not only across the world but across Australia as a whole.  

Smiths Beach WA
Smiths Beach (near Yallingup) on a hot summers day

We have beaches up and down our coast which are perfect for everyone to enjoy numerous outdoor activities or to just kick back and experience a relaxing day at the beach.

Check out the below helpful tips to ensure you have a great time at the beach though most importantly stay safe.

Swim between the flags

swim between flags beach safety wa

If you arrive at a beach and see some red and yellow flags, it’s also important to swim between these flags.  

These flags mean that lifeguards and lifesavers have marked a section of the beach that they feel is best suited for swimming.  

In addition to this, the area between the red and yellow flags is an area that they are actively supervising.

If you would like to know which beaches are patrolled by lifeguards, check out the link below:

Read beach safety signs

Burns beach perth signage
Beach safety signs at Burns Beach in northern suburbs of Perth, WA

You’ll find that a number of beaches, particularly Perth Beaches, have safety signs positioned near the entrance to the beach.  

Therefore, before venturing onto the beach always take the time to read these signs as they provide a summary of potential dangers to look out for or warnings to take note of.

These signs can also provide additional helpful information that you should be aware of to help make your beach visit more enjoyable.

Swim with a buddy

Snorkelling at Five fingers reef
Two of my family members snorkelling together at Five Fingers Reef

Whether you’re swimming, snorkelling or enjoying any other water-based activity at the beach, when possible, it’s always best to do so with a friend and/or family member.  

Swimming with another person is the smarter option as it allows you to watch out for each other and if required, provide assistance when needed.

Swimming with a friend is also recommended due to the fact that if one person does get in trouble the other person can rush off to get help.

Ask around for advice

Life savers watching over Abalone fishermen
Life savers monitoring a local Perth beach during the abalone fishing season

If you feel unsure about a location and would like some advice before heading into the water then it’s always best to look for locals in the area that could provide advice, or even better, speak to the surf lifesavers on the beach.  

With a wealth of knowledge about the local beaches, surf lifesavers will be able to answer any questions you may have giving you the confidence you need.

And as always… if you do feel unsafe or unsure then avoid entering the water until you feel safe to do so.

What to do if you need help

As per recommendations from Surf Life Saving WA, if you do need help in the water, then try to stay calm and attract the attention of others.  

If this is the case then whilst trying to remain calm, raise either arm in the air and wave it side to side.

Doing so should attract the attention of a lifeguard or lifesaver in the area who is able to swim out to help you.

Please refer to Lifeguard’s top tips for more recommendations on what to do if you need help.

Be Sun Smart

One thing that Western Australia is good at is providing great beach weather with long hot sunny days almost guaranteed during the summer season.  

However, as a result of such heat, beachgoers in Western Australia can often be exposed to damaging sunburn from the UV rays and even suffer heat stroke.

Therefore, if you’re heading out to one of WA’s beaches, or even a popular swimming hole or lake, then as always please ensure your sun smart and you do the following:

Wear protective clothing

This includes both in and out of the water as it’s important to keep your skin protected at all times.  Out of the water examples would be a long sleeve shirt with a collar or in the water could be a full-length rash vest.

Wear a hat

Apart from ensuring you have protective clothing on, wearing a hat is a must.  Ideally, you want a hat that covers not only your face and nose, but also your ears and neck hence I’d recommend you look at wearing a wide-brim hat instead of a cap.

Wear some sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses (aka sunnies in Australia) is definitely recommended when visiting the beach out being outdoors in general.  

Not only protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, sunglasses are also great for improving visibility and reducing the glare off the water.

Apply sunscreen

Always ensure you apply ample water-resistant sunscreen that is SPF30+.  The best bet is to ensure you apply this at least 20 minutes prior and look at reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours.

Setup some shade

Ideally, you should refrain from staying in the sun all day and look at seeking some cover under a sun shade of some type.  

There are a number of different beach sun shades on the market, however, one I would personally recommend is the ever so popular Cool Cabana (Large size).  

I’ve used this at a number of beaches and found that it not only provides excellent shade coverage but is also easy to set up and take down.

For more information refer to: Sun safety tips

More beach safety information

To ensure you and your family’s safety when visiting Perth Beaches would encourage everyone to visit the below web pages:

Ready to go?

Right…ready to hit the beach? If so, be sure to check out our best beaches in Perth article which provides you with a list of top beaches to visit in Perth – enjoy! 😁

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