Play It Safe On
Jupiter is famous for its beautiful coastline. This winter, while
much of the world is shoveling snow, we are still happily
digging our toes in the warm sand. But whether this is your
first winter on Jupiter’s shores or your 101st, there are some
seaside safety tips that never change. As the American Red
Cross reminds us, following these simple steps ensure that
you and your family have a safe and pleasant day at the beach.
SURF SWIMMING VS POOL SWIMMING
Swimming in the surf is different than swimming in a
pool. It requires different skills to swim in the tides.
When at the beach, always remain aware of the tides,
swimming only in lifeguard-protected areas. Obey all
instructions and orders from lifeguards. While swimming,
remain alert to your surroundings, including the weather
conditions. Always swim sober and never swim alone.
Even if you’re confident in your swimming skills, make
sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
SWIMMING WITH CHILDREN
The Red Cross recommends that young children and
inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when in and around the water.
Always pay close attention to children – and elderly
persons – when at the beach. Even in shallow water,
wave action and tidal pull can cause loss of footing.
Don’t dive headfirst – protect your neck. Always check
for depth and obstructions before diving, and go in feet
first the first time.
Treat plants and animals with respect. Be sure to watch
for aquatic life, because although the water plants and
animals may look harmless, they may actually be very
dangerous. When entering shallow water, be sure to
do the “stingray shuffle,” shuffling your feet to avoid
stepping on stingrays. If stung by a jellyfish, vinegar
will neutralize the poison. Carry vinegar, along with
sunscreen in your beach bag for this very reason. Avoid
patches of plants. Leave animals alone. If you happen to
find an injured animal, do not touch it. Call 9-1-1 and
they will notify the appropriate agency.
Rip currents are responsible for most of the rescues
performed by lifeguards. Rip currents can form in any
large open water area, including low spots and breaks in
sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers. For
your safety, be aware of the danger of rip currents and
remember the following tips from the American
• If caught in a rip current, it is important that you stay
calm and don’t fight the current.
• Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the
current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward
• If you can’t swim parallel to the shore, float, or tread
water until you are free of the rip current and then
turn and head toward shore.
• If you feel you can’t make it to the shore, draw
attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
• Stay at least 100 feet away
from piers and jetties because
often permanent rip currents
exist near these structures.
• If someone is in trouble in
the water, get help from a
lifeguard. If a lifeguard is
not available, have someone
call 9-1-1. Throw the victim
something that floats – a
lifejacket, cooler, inflatable
ball – and yell instructions on
how to escape the current. Do
not attempt to rescue them
• When at the beach, always
check conditions before
entering the water. Check to
see if any warning flags are up
or ask a lifeguard about water
conditions, beach conditions,
or any potential hazards.
Jupiter’s guarded beaches include
Carlin Park, Coral Cove, Dubois
Park, and Jupiter Beach Park. Each
lifeguard station provides signs
listing surf conditions, and local
wild life present. The stations also
fly the beach flag warnings. It is
important to note that the absence
of warning flags DOES NOT assure