When visiting Panama City Beach, it’s important to have fun but equally important to recognize how to keep you and your family safe. Being aware of your surroundings, like how the gulf is behaving or what animals are out swimming, will help you experience the best our beach has to offer. Here are some tips on beach safety.
Learn to Swim
While the Gulf of Mexico is known to be shallow on the shoreline, knowing basic swimming techniques is crucial when visiting. Rip currents, high tides, and rogue waves are often hard to recognize if you are not familiar with open water and can take even the best swimmers into dangerous situations. Always make sure to have a buddy with you when taking a swim or having a beach day.
Visit a Beach with Lifeguards
Guarded beaches are especially good if you are visiting with young children or new swimmers. Panama City Beach has three beaches with lifeguards 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm:
– M.B. Miller County Pier (Lifeguards start May 27 to Labor Day weekend)
– Rick Seltzer Park (Lifeguards start May 27 to Labor Day weekend)
– Russell Fields City Pier (Lifeguards start April 1 to Labor Day weekend)
Obey Posted Signs and Safety Flags
Rip currents are unpredictable and extremely dangerous. When visiting the beaches, pay attention to signage and always check which flags are flying.
DOUBLE RED FLAG: Very High Hazard and water closed to the public.
RED FLAG: High Hazard with high surf and strong currents. Use extreme caution.
YELLOW FLAG: Medium Hazard with moderate surf and/or strong currents.
GREEN FLAG: Low Hazard with calm conditions, but caution still advised.
PURPLE FLAG: Dangerous marine life.
It’s very important to learn how to escape and recognize rip currents in the Gulf of Mexico. Look for unusual choppiness, discoloration of water, debris, and foam moving seaward. If you’re caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Swim parallel to the shore until the current weakens, then swim back to the shore.
Looking for vacation rentals in Panama City Beach? Contact our team at (850) 234-2151 or check out our website for more information!