30A Thursday: Beach Safety
The Beaches of 30A and Destin
For this week’s 30A Thursday I want to talk about Beach Safety. Here in Walton County we have a flag system on our beaches to give beach goers a heads up on the water conditions (as you can see below). Please be aware of the conditions before you dip into our beautiful emerald waters. Note these aren’t just suggestions! The red flags aren’t something to mess with. I personally don’t get in the waters when there is a yellow flag and I’d never get in the water with the red flags either.
Another danger lurking in the water here are riptides. Please, please! I beg you to watch this video about rip tides before visiting our area. Far too many times do I read articles like this one. It happens all the time and the worst part is it is preventable. When I first moved to the area from Plano, TX I got caught in a riptide. I had no idea what it was and I’m lucky that I didn’t drown. I have a little bit of a water fear (I know funny right considering my photography style) so I am always hyper aware of the shore. I remember getting in the water to cool off and noticing I was being swept out into deep waters rather quickly. I panicked at first and started trying to swim towards the shore and noticed that my efforts were in vain. I looked to see if anyone was near me to call out to them and I saw a person in the water walking back towards the shore. I decided to swim towards that person (horizontal to the shore) because I figured if they could walk through the water there, I should be able to do it too. I swam horizontal and felt the current eventually let up and I was able to swim back to shore from the spot I saw that person. A bit later, I saw another swimmer having the same trouble so I yelled to them to swim like I had. They were able to get out too. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at that time. It honestly took me a while to figure out that what I had experienced was a riptide. Not everyone is as lucky as I was so I would like to do my part in educating the families that visit the 30A area. Watch this video and please share it with your loved ones!