Beach Safety on the Space Coast
A few Things to Remember for Your Trip to the Beach
The beaches of Florida’s Space Coast are a top destination for visitors and why so many great people call this slice of paradise home. And while the tranquil shores beckon people year after year, there are some pretty important things to keep in mind when you make your way to the beaches of the Space Coast.
Take it from us, you do not want your vacation ruined by a sunburn or not paying attention to beach safety warnings. Check out a few of the most important things you should be aware of to stay safe and enjoy your fun in the sun on Florida’s Space Coast.
Beach Flag Warning and Rip Currents
Beaches on the Space Coast are equipped with Beach Flags at every entrance. These flags let you know what the overall conditions in the surf are. Whenever you’re entering the ocean, you are doing so at your own risk; however, it’s good to take a look at this flag, so you can make the best decision.
If you see the red flags up, the chances of a rip current being present are high. Rip currents are narrow currents of water which move directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves like a river running out to sea. These can be dangerous because they are very strong and can pull you out to sea as well.
Rip currents can also happen suddenly and without warning. If you do find yourself pulled into a rip current, it’s important to stay calm and stay afloat. Try to shout back to shore and get a lifeguard’s attention. Eventually the current will lessen and you’ll be able to swim out. Make sure to swim parallel to the beachline until you feel you’re out of the rip current before you turn back to shore. This way you won’t exhaust yourself and you can let the waves help propel you back to the safety of the sand.
Always closely supervise and swim with your children in the ocean!
For added safety, it is strongly encouraged to go to a beach with lifeguards present. There are 5 full-time lifeguard stations and 20 seasonal lifeguard stations at various beachfront parks within the Space Coast, so there are plenty of options to choose from.
- Cocoa Beach Pier – Cocoa Beach
- Alan Shepard Park - Cocoa Beach
- Lori Wilson Park - Cocoa Beach
- Minutemen Causeway - Cocoa Beach
- Paradise/Howard E. Futch Park – N. Indialantic
* After Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, lifeguards are on duty every day until the first week of August. Then, the seasonal towers operate weekends only until Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
- Cheri Down Park – Cape Canaveral - 1 tower
- Tulip Avenue - Cocoa Beach - 1 tower
- South 16th Street (Murkshe Park) - Cocoa Beach - 1 tower
- Pelican Beach Park - Satellite Beach - 1 tower
- James H. Nance Park/Boardwalk - Indialantic - 3 towers
- Ocean Avenue Park- Melbourne Beach - 1 tower
- Spessard Holland Park (North) S Melbourne Beach - 2 towers
- Spessard Holland Park (South) S Melbourne Beach - 1 tower
***Port Canaveral provides year-round lifeguard service at Jetty Park***
You came to the beach for fun in the sun, however too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Too many travelers have had their vacations ruined by a nasty sunburn on the first day of the Florida Vacation. Don’t let that be you!
Wear Sun Protection
Whether it’s sunscreen or UV-blocking clothing, making sure your skin has some reprieve from the sun is essential for a Space Coast Beach day. Remember to reapply sunscreens after you’ve been in the water or after a few hours in the sun. and DO NOT FOREGET THE TOPS OF YOUR FEET. Check out this list of reef-safe sunscreens to protect yourself and the environment. Hats and sunglasses also provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
While the sea breeze keeps temperatures cooler beachside, if you’re planning on spending the whole day at the beach renting an umbrella or cabana is a very good idea. There are plenty of umbrella rental operations set up along the coast, and also plenty of beach shops, so you’ll be able to snag one for a last-minute souvenir of necessity.
Bring Cool Water and Snacks
Make sure you’ve got plenty of water for your beach day too. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can happen easily on a beach day. A small cooler with a few bottles of water and a little ice will go a long way. And, if you’re in Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach or Melbourne Beach, you’re never far from a watering hole featuring cold drinks and tasty treats!
Mind the Wildlife
The Space Coast is home to many different kinds of wildlife. For the sake of safety and conservation it’s good to know about a few creatures to watch out for.
Jellyfish and the Portuguese Man-o-War.
Sometimes hidden by their translucent color or tentacles hidden within patches of seaweed, it can be easy for these creatures to blend into their surroundings. Additionally, if you’re unfamiliar with the Man-o-War, it’s a beautiful organism, but their sting packs a punch. Even if the creature is dead and washed up on the beach, its tentacles can still sting you. Stings from jellyfish or Man-o-War are typically not lethal, however, severe allergic reactions can happen in some cases. If stung, it is best to rinse the area with vinegar. Avoid using fresh water to rinse, as that can further activate any residual stingers or pieces of tentacle still on the skin. After rinsing, it is encouraged to immerse the area with hot water of at least 113° or apply a hot pack for around 45 minutes. If a headache or any other pain or swelling happens outside of the area that was stung, it is important to let a lifeguard know immediately or call 911 as there might be a potential allergic reaction.
Sea Turtles on the Space Coast have 72 miles of Coastline to nest and lay eggs. May 1st through November 15th is considered Sea Turtle Nesting Season, and although there might be some obvious rules to follow to ensure no disturbance for sea turtle development, like no littering, there are also some things to consider that might not be as clear-cut. Here are 6 things to remember.
For more resources on what to do if you do spot a sea turtle and how to keep them safe while still being awestruck by these beautiful creatures, check out a list of things to know and how to enjoy them.
Don’t be “that guy” that ruins their vacation by getting a bad sunburn on the first day! Respect the ocean, don’t underestimate the sun, and be safe and be mindful on your Space Coast Vacation, we can’t wait to see you!
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