Beach Season Arriving In Maryland: Safety Tips To Prevent Drowning
When you have waited several long months of cold temperatures, snow, and gray skies, getting back to Maryland beaches for the warm season is a highly anticipated event. You are not alone in realizing that the best playground in the State is not far from your doorstep, as Ocean City beaches welcome 8 million visitors every year. Though they enjoy the restaurants, bars, and scenery along the famous Ocean City Boardwalk, most beachgoers will hit the water to cool off and relax among the waves.
Drowning is always a concern around any body of water, even one as small as a stream just a few inches deep. However, oceanside beaches present unique concerns. The ocean is powerful, and many underestimate how quickly it can claim a life. Still, some hazards are the creation of negligent parties, so you may have rights if you lost a loved one or were involved in a near-drowning incident. An Owings Mills drowning accident lawyer can provide details, but some tips on safety at the beach should help.
Wear a Life Jacket: When appropriate, make sure to put on a personal floatation device (PFD) that is suitable for the conditions. Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved model, and there are many varieties depending on your needs. The familiar orange, over-the-head is highly effective at preventing drownings, but there are also PFDs that are more suited to swimming.
Swim at Patrolled Beaches: Many of Maryland’s beaches are monitored by lifeguards, so stick to the areas where you know life-saving professionals are close. However, keep in mind that beaches are only patrolled during certain hours or days of the week.
Know the Water Conditions Flags: There is a uniform warning flag system in Maryland that informs the public about risks that may be present. For instance:
- Purple indicates the presence of dangerous marine life.
- Red means there is a high threat because of surf and currents.
- A yellow flag states that there is a medium hazard to swimmers.
- Green is an indication that the risk of incidents is low, but you should still exercise caution.
- Double red flags mean the beach is closed.
Avoid Risky Behaviors: Besides ignoring the flags, there are additional ways beachgoers could put themselves in jeopardy. You should never swim after consuming alcohol, which affects your physical abilities and encourages people to take risks they normally would not. If you are not a strong swimmer, do not venture out into deep waters.
In addition, you should never swim alone – even if you are a strong swimmer and/or have a PFD. Swimmers can easily be carried out to sea by strong currents, and the ocean is highly unpredictable.
Contact a Baltimore County Drowning Accident Attorney to Discuss Remedies
You may have legal remedies if you were affected by a drowning accident caused by negligence, so please contact Furman | Honick Law for details. To set up a free case evaluation at our offices in Owings Mills or Baltimore, MD, please call 410-844-6000 or visit us online.