What Tourists Need to Know About Swimming off Amelia Island

One thing Florida is not short on is water. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy on Amelia Island.

What Tourists Need to Know About Swimming off Amelia IslandWhen tourists are getting ready for a vacation in Amelia, Florida they always pack their swimming suit. No vacation to Florida is complete without a day in the warm sun enjoying a day at the beach or laying at the pool. You don’t have to be fresh out of swimming lessons to enjoy the sun in Fernandina Beach, but there are a few things you will want to remember to make your vacation great.

One thing Florida is not short on is water. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy on Amelia Island. Although we want you to have fun, safety must always come first. Injuries and accidents can take the fun out of any vacation. The best way to keep your vacation enjoyable is to be prepared.

Rip Currents
A rip current, also referred to as a rip tide, is caused by wind and weather conditions. These strong channels of flowing water can endanger even the best swimmers. Swim in an area that is life guard protected, and be aware of rip current warnings.

If swimmers are not careful, rip currents can drag them away from the beach. Rip currents cause more than 100 deaths annually in the United States Rip currents cause 80% of rescues needed by beach lifeguards. Please obey warnings and stay clear of these currents.

Editor’s note: On July 27, 2008 we posted the following information on SearchAmelia.com and it is worth publishing again.

Please pay attention to the following so you know how to escape if you are ever caught in a rip tide:

If you are on a surfboard or raft, keep it with you to stay visible and afloat. You may get pulled further out to sea, but you have a crutch with these items.

Remain calm! Riptides are usually no more than 100 feet wide, so you can get out of this if you swim parallel to the shore.

NEVER try to swim directly back to shore; you will drown! You must conserve your energy. Again, swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current and then you will be able to swim back to the beach.

If you wear polarized sunglasses, you may be able to recognize rip currents.

    -Look for a channel of choppy water, or a trench in the sand.
    -A very distinct color varience in the water.
    -Breaks in the wave pattern.
    -Debris or seaweed heading out to sea.

If you are not an experienced swimmer, swim in areas where a lifeguard is on duty, pay attention to the warning flags and NEVER swim alone.

Lightning
Florida has frequent lightning storms during the summer. Lightning can strike swimmers and is more attracted to water than land, so people in the water are more vulnerable. Bad weather conditions just offshore may also cause heavy waves that can knock down people just at the water’s edge and drag swimmers into deeper water, even if the storm hasn’t made it to shore yet. Please vacate the beach immediately at the first sign of lightning.

Sunscreen
It truly doesn’t matter what beach or pool you are at, sunscreen is a must. Nothing can ruin a vacation like a painful, red sunburn. Sunburns can occur in as little as 15 minutes. Be sure to apply sunscreen at the beginning of your day in the sun.

Research has shown that the best protection is achieved by application 15 to 30 minutes before exposure, followed by one reapplication 15 to 30 minutes after exposure begins. Further reapplication is necessary after activities such as swimming and sweating.

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