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American Red Cross Ocean Safety Tips

The Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter offers safety tips to have fun and stay safe while ocean swimming this summer!

The American Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter offers the following safety tips to have fun and stay safe while ocean swimming this summer.

  • Stay within the designated swimming area, ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard.
  • Never Swim alone.
  • Check the surf conditions before you enter the water. Check to see if a warning flag is up or check with a lifeguard for water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards, especially rip currents.
  • Stay away from piers, pilings, and jetties when in the water.
  • Keep a lookout for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants. Leave animals alone.
  • Make sure you always have enough energy to swim back to shore.
  • Never dive headfirst into breaking waves. The water depth may be too shallow for a dive and head, neck and back injuries may be suffered.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, remember the following:

  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Never fight against the current.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle-away from the current-toward the shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1. Throw the victim something that floats, such as a lifejacket, cooler or inflatable ball. Yell instructions on how to escape the current.
  • Don’t try to swim against a current if caught in one. Swim gradually out of the current, by swimming parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
  • Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

    For more summer safety and preparedness info visit:

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

    Contact: Contact: Laura Steinmetz

    Phone: (609) 221-5348