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5 Beach Safety Tips to Consider for Your Forgotten Coast Beach Vacation

By Forgotten Coast Web Team | April 15, 2022

Photo of water at St. George Island, Florida taken by Instagram @Kristen_mason1

The Forgotten Coast beaches are gorgeous, uncrowded, and generally safe, but there are a few essential things to keep in mind when you make your way to the shores of the Forgotten Coast.

1. Beach Flag Warnings and Rip Currents

Our beach flags let you know the overall conditions in the surf. Beach warning flags can be found at the following locations:
2 East Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island, FL 32328
1860 West Highway 98, Carrabelle, FL 32322
1336 Alligator Drive, Alligator Point, FL 32346

You can also check the Forgotten Coast’s website, the Forgotten Coast Mobile app, or listen to Oyster Radio, where they give the beach flag/water conditions throughout the day.

Here’s what the Beach Flags mean:  
Double Red – Danger! Water Closed to Public
Single Red – High Hazard, High Surf, and/or Strong Currents
Yellow – Medium Hazard, Moderate Surf, and/or Currents
Green – Low Hazard, Calm Conditions, Exercise Caution
Purple – Dangerous Marine Life (Usually Jellyfish)

An absence of Beach Flags does not assure safe waters or a lack of rip currents. Whenever you enter the ocean, you are doing so at your own risk. Franklin County does not have lifeguards, so you must always closely supervise and swim with your children. 

2. Sun Exposure

Florida summers are no joke. Be smart, bring a shade device like a tent or umbrella, wear sunscreen or UB block clothing, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. And, if you need a break from the sun and heat, check out any of our area restaurants for a bit of shade and a cold drink.

3. Weather

Weather on the coast can change on a dime. If you can hear thunder, see a flash of lightning, or see a storm approaching, get out of the water and get off the beach. There are plenty of rainy day activities on the Forgotten Coast, so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you take a break from the sun.

4. Wildlife

Occasionally swimmers encounter jellyfish. If you are stung by a jellyfish, don’t panic. It does burn a bit, but a little vinegar or liquid other than freshwater can soothe the sting. The pain usually fades away in a short period of time.

Sting Rays are frequently found in the warm shallow water, May through October. To avoid this painful sting, do the “Stingray Shuffle.” When you are in the shallow water, slide or shuffle your feet forward one foot at a time. If you are the victim of this painful sting, soaking the area in hot water for a few hours can help. If you begin to show signs of an allergic reaction or see part of the barb left behind, please head to the emergency room or dial 911.

5. The Rules

  • Franklin County Ordinance
    For everyone’s safety, including our sea turtle friends, it is vital to remove your belongings and fill in any holes before leaving the beach. All personal items left on the beach (including the dune area) after 9pm will be removed and destroyed.
  • Pets
    The Forgotten Coast is one of the most pet-friendly beaches in Florida. Be sure to leash your pet and make sure that you remove any pet waste from our beautiful beaches.
  • Parking
    Take note of where you park. There are plenty of dedicated parking places adjacent to our beach accesses. If you park on personal property or in an area not designated for parking, your vehicle will be towed, and/or you will receive a parking citation. 
  • Beach Flags
    To get in the water at a Double Red Flag warning is to break the law. You will be fined. We urge you not to risk your life or the lives of those who will attempt to save you. 
  • Glass Containers
    Don’t bring any glass containers onto our beaches. Broken glass is a safety issue.

Are you ready to experience our award-winning beaches? Book your trip now! You will love our beaches—just remember to respect the ocean, the weather, and the sun! 

Click here for more extensive information about beach safety on the Forgotten Coast. 

Photo credit: Instagram @kristen_mason1