Temperatures are rising and with summer on its way, Clearwater Beach is expecting more and more visitors on our sugar-sand beaches. Many local residents and visitors will definitely be taking a dip in the warm beach waters of the Gulf of Mexico and should remember these safety tips.
Rip Currents can occur anytime of the year. If you get caught in a rip current, don’t’ fight it. Relax and float to conserve energy. Do not try to swim directly to shore. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you can escape the current’s pull. When free, swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore. If you feel you can’t reach the shore, relax and wave for help. Clearwater Beach is one of the only beaches in Pinellas County with lifeguards on duty.
Stingray season begins in May and lasts through October. During these months, stingrays hang out in warmer shallow waters near the beach. To keep from being stung, swimmers should do the “stingray shuffle” by sliding your feet along the sand instead of taking big steps. The shuffling sends vibrations that scare away stingrays that may be nearby.
Lastly, protect your personal items while at the beach. Leave valuables, such as jewelry and expensive cameras, at home. Take one credit card, ID, and the amount of cash you’ll need for the day. Do not leave belongings unattended or in plain sight. Consider purchasing a waterproof pouch to carry items in even as you swim. Another suggestion is to clean out an empty sunscreen or sports bottle, and stow your keys, money and phone inside. Most importantly , use common sense and be safe.
Posted on May 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm by Ed Karlander