In summer, most of us want to spend time at the beach and enjoy the Estonian summer. In order to stay safe at the beach and to ensure everyone gets home safely, here are six tips for water safety from the Estonian Rescue Board.
- Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied at the beach by an adult. Children over the age of 12 should visit the beach with an adult or a friend who can call for help if needed.
- Although inflatable swimming aids may seem useful and fun, all sorts of inflatable water toys and aids are actually dangerous. Land breeze can blow a child using an inflatable swimming aid away from the beach and they can also deflate unexpectedly. Also, it can be dangerous for children to retrieve things that have drifted into deep waters. A swimming ring can create a false sense of the child’s swimming ability or flip upside down and trap them underwater.
- Swim at a public guarded beach. Choose a public beach because:
- the beach area is well maintained and any dangerous objects are removed from the bottom;
- jumping towers are checked, the bottom is safe and the water is deep enough;
- the swimming area is marked with buoys and guarded;
- lifeguards notice dangers both in water and on shore and help avoid accidents;
- rescue workers and the ambulance know the locations of public beaches and can quickly access them in the event of an accident;
- there are flags to indicate whether the weather and water are safe for swimming.
- Jumping into the water is always dangerous because you can never be sure what is under the surface. For example, people may have thrown rocks and other dangerous objects into the water. Also, even in familiar places, the landform may have changed over the years or the water level may have lowered due to heat or another reason. The consequences of an unlucky jump may be very severe.
- When using a water craft, including a SUP board, always wear a properly sized and fastened life jacket because it can save your life in the event of a water accident.
- Know different bodies of water. To spend time safely near water, it is important to know the characteristics of different bodies of water.
Written by the Estonian Rescue Board.