Protect Yourself

By following Project Wipeout’s safety tips, you and your family can enjoy a fun and safe day at the beach. And remember, you cannot determine the depth of the water by looking at the surface, whether you are standing at the shoreline, on a pier or jetty, or on a surfboard. Always check the depth of the water with your feet, not your head!

  • Learn to swim. If you can’t swim an overhead stroke for at least 15 minutes, you should not be in the ocean.
  • Never swim alone. Always swim with a buddy, and swim near a lifeguard whenever possible.
  • Stay out of the “surf zone” where the waves break at the shoreline. Waves are at their greatest force here, and even a small wave can lift you up and throw you headfirst into the sand.
  • Never dive headfirst into the water from the beach, a surfboard, pier or jetty. Sandbars could lie just beneath the surface
  • If you are boogie boarding or bodysurfing, keep your arms out in front of you to protect your head and neck.
  • When bodysurfing, swim at an angle to the shore.
  • If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Then swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore.
  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours or more if you’re sweating or swimming.