As temperatures rise, it’s only natural that more and more tourists will flock to the seaside and be inspired to go for a swim in their favorite destinations, or indulge in different water sports activities. However, this is also prime time for water-related accidents, such as drowning. In fact, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children ages 1 to 14 years, and the fifth leading cause of mortality for people of all ages. So it’s crucial that travelers who are planning to spend time in the water should be mindful of the dangers that they could encounter, and take precautions in order to stay safe. Here are some water safety tips for tourists visiting the beach or swimming pool.
Wear a life vest
Water sports can be enjoyed by anyone at any time, but wearing a life vest is extremely important, and it is also required for most types of water activities such as boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. If you fall into the sea while doing these activities, a life vest will keep you safe in the water, and it will also make it easier for someone to locate you. However, you should always wear the right type and size of vest. You can find a variety of life vests available on the market, so make sure you pick one that is suitable for your body type and activity.
If you drink, don’t swim
Alcohol and swimming don’t mix well since alcohol is a depressant that slows down the nervous system. When you’re under the influence, your body can lose heat rapidly and your heart rate slows down, both of which can make you more prone to hypothermia and drowning. Don’t drink any alcohol within four hours of going into the water. If you do drink, make sure you have plenty of water and have someone accompany you while you walk along the pool or wade in the water.
Check for rip currents
Rip currents are strong flows of water that carry swimmers away from shore, sometimes to a very great distance. They can occur anywhere where there are breaking waves and are a common occurrence along the shores of southwestern Florida, where hundreds of swimmers are rescued each year for this reason. While not all swimming spots have rip currents, many do. Check with local lifeguards for current information regarding areas that you might want to swim in. However, if you do get caught in a rip current, do not panic. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current, which is usually within 30 feet, and then swim back towards the shore and continue swimming in an easterly direction.
Know the rules
The local authorities have put safety measures in place so that tourists can enjoy their stay without any problems while swimming or engaging in any water activities. However, these regulations differ from country to country, and tourists are responsible for learning about the specific rules in their destination before heading out to any water activities. For example, in some areas, it is illegal to snorkel or swim in and around coral reef areas. Be sure to make prior arrangements with the local tourist office if you plan on doing anything that may disturb marine life. You can also seek out lifeguards and ask them about pool closures, hours of operation, and any special rules that might apply to your activities.
These tips will certainly help you have a safe and enjoyable time if you’re headed to the beach or pool this summer. But if there are some other things you should be aware of as well, it’s always best to check with lifeguards or local officials about the rules so you can stay safe in the water.