Beach Safety – Use Caution
Anywhere in the world the sea and the beaches provide an abundant source of pleasure and enjoyment. However, using safety on the beach and sea is vital as it can be a dangerous adversary. One danger lurking along shorelines is the elusive ‘rip currents’; powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that gives little warning on the surface. They exist all over the world and are not peculiar to Costa Rican beaches. Beaches with ‘”rip currents’” are well known to local ticos. They will gladly provide safety warnings and general information. Keep in mind, most beaches in Costa Rica do not have lifeguards on patrol; in many cases, swimmers enter the water at their own risk.
Always use caution at any beach and follow these tips:
- Consult locals about the existing safety conditions of any beach. The people along the beaches will always provide the best information, guiding and protecting users from danger. Do not depend on posted ‘warning’ signs, or assume, because of a lack of posted signs, that the water is safe.
- Never swim alone. Always alert someone to your departure from the shore and ask them to keep an occasionally check on your whereabouts.
- Be aware at all times. Mild currents can slowly place you further out to sea than you may want to be.
- ‘Rip currents’ often display few, or no, signs of their power on the surface. Meanwhile, below the surface powerful underwater currents can be moving away from the shore.
- Victims of drowning are often described, in retrospect, as ‘strong and capable’ swimmers. Overconfidence in one’s abilities can have fatal results.
- Be safe rather than sorry whether in Cost Rica or on any other shoreline when entering the water.