Beach Safety

South Walton promotes a fun, safe beach experience by utilizing a system of colored flags to keep you informed of current surf conditions. With our convenient texting service and free "Perfect Beach" app, it's easy to stay informed even before you reach the beach!

Learn what each color means and how to escape if you’re caught in a rip current. Remember, knee deep is too deep on red flag days and double red indicates the water is closed for swimming.

Beach Flag Warnings

  • Double Red Flag - Water Closed
  • Red Flag - High Hazard
  • Yellow Flag - Moderate Surf/Currents
  • Green Flag - Calm Conditions
  • Purple Flag - Dangerous Marine Life

General Rules of the Beach

  • Glass containers and littering are prohibited
  • Vehicles, dogs and bonfires require permits
  • Obey all beach flag warnings
  • LEAVE NO TRACE - Items left on beach overnight will be removed
  • Keep off the dunes
  • Removal of sand, water or vegetation is strictly prohibited


Download a Beach Safety Flyer - PDF, 11x17

Download a Leave No Trace Flyer - PDF, 8.5 x 11

Beach Conditions Updates – By Text Message*

For current conditions and flag updates text “FLAG” to 67463* to receive a link or visit

*South Walton Beach Conditions: Message and Data Rates May Apply. Periodic Messaging. For help, text HELP, text STOP to end. For more information, see our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

How To Identify A Rip Current

One or more of the following features indicate the presence of a rip current:

  • Darker color surf, indicating deeper water
  • Murky brown water caused by sand stirred up on the bottom
  • Smaller unorganized waves, alongside more evenly breaking waves over a sand bar
  • Waves breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip current

What To Do If You See Someone Else Caught In A Rip Current

  • Notify a lifeguard
  • Have someone call 911, give accurate landmarks
  • Do not enter the water, you too will be caught in the current
  • Throw them a flotation device
  • Try not to lose sight of the victim

What To Do If You’re Caught In A Rip Current

  • Don’t panic or swim against the current
  • Relax, float with the current until it dissipates
  • Swim parallel to shore and back in

Of course the best way to avoid a rip current is to know the surf conditions before entering the water.

Lifeguard Information

Lifeguarded beaches are available from mid-March through September, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at regional public beach accesses including Inlet Beach, Santa Clara, Van Ness Butler, Jr., Blue Mountain, Gulfview Heights, Ed Waline, Dune Allen and Miramar Beach. Lifeguards are provided by South Walton Fire District and funded as a part of the Visit South Walton Safety Program. (Number of lifeguarded beaches, dates and times subject to change)

Beach Wheelchairs

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) offer beach wheelchairs at the following beach accesses: Pompano Joe's (Miramar Beach), Ed Walline (Santa Rosa Beach) and Bramble Grove (Seagrove Beach) from 10 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. daily, through the lifeguard season which is from the first Saturday in March until the last Sunday in September. Each chair must be operated by an on-duty lifeguard and a beach wheelchair waiver must be signed by the beach wheelchair patron or their caregiver. It is requested that the beach patron limit the usage of the beach wheelchair to the beach area in the immediate area of the public beach access. In order to facilitate the possible need for multiple patrons, it is recommended that the beach patron's personal chair be used once the patron has reached their beach location.

Alzheimer’s Family Services

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office can provide assistance through Project Lifesaver which makes it possible to locate lost patients. Parties considering the service should call 850.478.7790.