All beachgoers should check beach warning flags before swimming

Published: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 04:19 PM.

 

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution at the beach this week, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast through Wednesday. A high risk of rip currents is expected in Walton and Bay counties today, as well as along the Sun Coast from Pinellas to Collier County. Remaining portions of the Florida Gulf Coast will see a moderate risk of rip currents.

“Strong winds over the Gulf of Mexico will generate an elevated risk of rip currents for the Florida Gulf Coast,” said FDEM Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “It is important for all beachgoers to check the beach warning flags before swimming and to swim within sight of a lifeguard. Floridians can check their local rip current outlook at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.”

Beachgoers should always remain alert while visiting Florida’s beaches, especially when red flags are flying. A rip current is a narrow, powerful current of water that runs perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean.

When at the beach:

 

• Before you leave for the beach, check the latest National Weather Service forecast for local beach conditions. Many offices issue a Surf Zone Forecast.



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