Coastal Water Conditions & Currents
Posted on May 30, 2013
Everyone loves the beach!¬† Some make Florida their annual vacation destination, and others make it a permanent home.¬† Regardless of how we get here or how long we stay, the pristine beaches, warm weather, and coastal lifestyle make Florida and the emerald shores of the gulf coast an oasis for all of us.¬†
What we all enjoy most is the sand between our toes while walking down the beach or on our way through the refreshing salt water for a swim or paddle.¬† And although we always see the coastal flags and signs, many of us walk or drive by dismissing their meanings.¬† When planning a day or event at the beach we all need to be aware of the tide conditions, currents, and marine life.¬† These conditions can change throughout the day, however, being aware will help you plan your events and keep everyone safe.¬†
¬†Normally at the entrance of every state park, is a colored flag, accompanying the United States flag, which provides the current water hazard level.¬† These flags are also displayed on some public beach access areas and other coastal areas with high traffic.¬† This flag is your first indication of the water conditions and can be seen from a distance.¬† The medium hazard flags are often dismissed but just about everyone takes notice of the double red flag or the purple flag. ¬†We associate these two with the opportunity to see massive swells or exciting marine life.
Rip currents are extremely powerful and there are not any signs to indicate their current conditions or force however signs are frequently displayed along the Florida shores to create awareness.¬† Rip currents are narrow channels of rapidly moving water rushing from the shore towards the open water.¬† There is no simulation for this type of strength and fighting a current is not an option.¬† In order to get a better understanding of rip currents and how to properly respond, please see the signs displayed in your area and become familiar with their normal course.¬†
Taking the time to recognize these signs and becoming aware of the local water conditions will only make your time spent on the beach more enjoyable and desired by everyone.¬† This is even more important when vacationing on the gulf coast or purchasing a waterfront home.¬† Check with your Realtor to receive additional information on the Gulf of Mexico and local waterways.
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