Some basic sea safety tips.jpg

Some basic sea safety tips

EVERYONE TENDS  to relax a little about safety when on holiday, writes CECILIA PIRES. However, it’s sensible to remember some basics about personal safety when at the seaside.

The first thing we should think about when going to a beach is if it is guarded. Signs, flags and rescue equipment must be in sight for everyone. If they are not, it is sensible not to go in the water.

When at a guarded beach, the first thing to look for are the safety flags.


• Yellow means DO NOT SWIM


• White and blue chequered recommends caution because the beach is TEMPORARILY WITHOUT SURVEILLANCE.

Swimmers should also respect other safety rules. For instance, there should be a minimum three hour period after eating or drinking before swimming.

Swimmers should never swim against the current. If the water is pulling you away from the shore, swim with the current and get out a few metres away from the spot where you went into the sea.

It is always more important to get out of the water, no matter where. And, although you might think your swimming capacities are great, never ignore the strength of the sea.

Finally, did you know that you might die immediately if you get into cold sea water after long sun exposure as a result of thermal shock?

You should always swim with someone else, so that one person can call for help in an emergency situation.

Only skilled people are advised to act in rescue operations at sea, because when in panic a swimmer has twice the strength and can cause someone else’s drowning.

For more information about the Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos, the country’s authority in sea rescue, please visit: This page is only in Portuguese. In an emergency situation involving the sea, please contact the number 112.

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