With Wave Safely and text message updates, you’ll know when it is safe to swim. Learn the flag colors and know the surf conditions in order to avoid dangerous rip currents.
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 Conditions Updates – By Text Message
For current conditions and flag updates text “FLAG” to 67463 to receive a link or visit SWFD.org. Text messaging rates may apply.
current beach conditions
Flag Warning System:
For added protection, South Walton has eight regional public beach accesses with lifeguards. Lifeguarded beaches are available from mid-March through September, 10 AM - 6 PM. Know before you go!
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.
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)