When you’re at the beach, you’ll often see flags flying along the shore. These flags are used to communicate the current conditions of the water and to warn swimmers of potential hazards.
One of the most important flags to be aware of is the black flag. A black flag at the beach means that the conditions of the sea are extremely dangerous and that swimming is prohibited.
What Does a Black Flag Mean?
A black flag at the beach means that the following conditions are present:
- High surf
- Strong currents
- Dangerous riptides
- Heavy rain or thunderstorms
- Low visibility
These conditions can make swimming extremely dangerous, and even experienced swimmers can be at risk of drowning.
Why Is Swimming Prohibited Under a Black Flag?
The high surf and strong currents that are present under a black flag can make it very difficult to stay afloat. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, you could be pulled underwater by a riptide or swept out to sea.
The low visibility that can also be present under a black flag can make it difficult to see hazards in the water, such as rocks, reefs, and other swimmers. This can increase your risk of injury.
What Should You Do If You See a Black Flag?
If you see a black flag at the beach, do not swim. The conditions are too dangerous. Instead, find a safe place to sunbathe or play in the sand.
If you’re already in the water when you see a black flag, get out immediately. If you’re having trouble swimming, call for help.
A black flag at the beach is a serious warning. If you see a black flag, do not swim. The conditions are too dangerous.
By following these simple rules, you can help to keep yourself safe at the beach.