Swim With The Lifeguards
It’s always safest to “Swim With The Lifeguards.” Look for lifeguards, when they are on duty, at Casino Beach, Park East, Fort Pickens Gate park and Quietwater Beach on Pensacola Beach and Langdon Beach and Opal Beach within the Gulf Islands National Seashore areas.
Looking out for your safety, the Santa Rosa Island Authority provides lifeguard services at the main beach on the Gulf of Mexico and on Quietwater Beach on Santa Rosa Sound. Full time service from the first of June through August; part-time and weekend service begins mid-April, then picks up again for September. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Surf conditions can be deceiving.
There can be dangerous currents even on calm days. Call for the latest surf advisory at Pensacola Beach and the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the protected areas, and heed the color of warning flags flown at beach entrance and at all lifeguard stations.
Absence of Flags does NOT assure safe water.
Rip currents and rapidly changing weather conditions can create dangerous situations if you are unprepared. It's always safest to swim where lifeguards are present. And never swim alone.
Water Closed to public
High hazard, high surf and/or strong currents
Medium hazard, moderate surf and/or currents
Low hazard, calm conditions, exercise caution
Dangerous marine life
Rip currents are narrow channels of water flowing out past the surf zone that can pull even strong swimmers into deep water beyond the offshore sand bar. If caught in a rip current, do not panic!
Try to escape a rip current by moving sideways across it; that is, parallel to the shore. If the current is too strong, let it carry you farther away from shore and it will weaken. Then swim back to shore at an angle away from the rip current.
If an emergency occurs in an area not covered by a lifeguard, call 911.