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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Beach safety

​Safety on the beach

Follow these safety guidelines:

  • wherever possible, always swim at a beach patrolled by lifeguards
  • always read and obey the safety signs, usually found at the entrance to the beach -  these will help you avoid potential hazards on the beach and identify the safest areas for swimming
  • when on a lifeguarded beach, find the red and yellow flags and always swim or bodyboard between them – this area is patrolled by lifeguards
  • never swim alone
  • if you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help
  • if you see someone in difficulty, never attempt a rescue.  Tell a lifeguard or call 999 and ask for the coastguard

Tides and waves

Follow these safety guidelines:

  • always check the tide before you enter the water. If you are unsure, ask a lifeguard
  • be careful not to get cut off by the tide if you're walking along the shore
  • always make sure your children are not in danger from the tide when playing on the beach

Check the Tide times

Rip tides

Rips are strong currents running out to sea that can easily take swimmers from shallow water out beyond their depth. 

They often occur in the waters around Jersey, and it is essential to know how to spot them and what to do if you're caught in one.

How to spot a rip current

Signs of a rip current are:

  • discoloured, brown water (caused by sand being stirred up from the seabed)
  • foam on the water’s surface
  • debris floating out to sea
  • a rippled patch of sea, when the water around is generally calm

How to get out of a rip current

If you are caught in a rip or a strong current, think of the three Rs:

  • relax: stay calm and float. Don't swim against the current, swim across it
  • raise: raise an arm to signal for help. If you can, shout to attract attention
  • rescue: float and wait for assistance. Don't panic; people drown in rip currents because they panic. Listen to directions from the lifeguard

If you're able to, swim parallel to the beach until you're out of the rip and make your way to the shore.

Tombstoning or jumping from height into the sea

Tombstoning is a high risk activity which involves jumping or diving from a height into water. 

It's illegal in any of Jersey's harbours and you may be fined up to £500.

We strongly advise against taking part in tombstoning. 

It's extremely dangerous because:

  • water depth alters with the tide
  • the water may be shallower than it seems
  • submerged objects like rocks may not be visible and they can cause serious injury if you jump onto them
  • the shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim
  • strong currents can rapidly sweep people away

Bodyboarding

Follow these safety guidelines:

  • when buying a bodyboard, always purchase a leash and flippers
  • always use your board on a lifeguarded beach and board in between the red and yellow flags
  • if you get into trouble, stay with your board as it will keep you afloat. Wave your arm in the air and shout for help

Surfing

Follow these safety guidelines:

  • wherever possible, always surf at a lifeguarded beach and follow the advice of the lifeguards
  • always wear your leash
  • if you get into trouble, stay with your board as it will keep you afloat. Wave your arm in the air and shout for help
  • never surf alone
  • never surf between the red and yellow flags. If you're not sure where it's safe to surf, ask a lifeguard
  • never drop in on another surfer

Inflatables

Follow these safety guidelines:

  • inflatable toys are safe and fun in swimming pools, but should not be used in the sea as there is a high chance of being swept out
  • if you do use inflatables in the sea, use them on a lifeguarded beach in between the red and yellow flags
  • never use an inflatable in an offshore wind or in choppy sea conditions
  • children’s inflatables should always be secured with a line that's held at all times by an adult

Further information on tides and beach safety

You can find more information on tides and beach safety on the Ports of Jersey, Jersey Coastguard and the RNLI Jersey website.

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