Play it Safe

You’re all packed for a day at the beach. You’ve got sunscreen, a good book, and you’re looking forward to a day in the sun and surf. When you arrive at the beach, though, a red flag is flying!

Below is the flag system that has been adopted by the Canary Islands

This is part of a warning system that has been adopted by coastal communities worldwide, to notify beachgoers of potential water hazards. Understanding and heeding these coloured flags keeps you safe in the water and helps you enjoy your trip to the beach. So be sure to educate yourself about the flags and their colours.

GREEN – ALLOWED swimming. A green flag on the beach is an all-clear sign, indicating that it is safe to swim. Even when the flag is green, though, exercise caution in the ocean, listen to lifeguard warnings and keep a close eye on children.

YELLOW – CAUTION a yellow flag indicates potentially high surf or dangerous currents and undertows, and means that swimmers should exercise extreme caution. If there is a yellow flag, swim only near lifeguards and heed all their warnings.

RED – BANNED from the water. The most serious of all beach warning flags, red flags warn swimmers of serious hazards and that the water is closed to swimming, as conditions are too dangerous for even the strongest swimmers.

BLUE – Certification of the quality of the water, first aid services, access and facilities on the beach.

WHITE – Presence of jellyfish, this warning is accompanied by the yellow or red flag. Jellyfish can turn a fun day at the beach into an unpleasant day at the hospital. When potentially dangerous ocean animals have been spotted, you will see these flags fly, but the water is not closed to swimming, however you should use extreme caution and keep a close watch for jellyfish.

BLACK – The beach is closed due to the state of sea and sand. There could be serious risk to health

Please remember that the absence of red flags does not assure safe conditions you should still be careful. 

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