Guide to Cornwall's beaches

Beach Safety

Beach safety advice

Please follow these simple rules to keep safe at the beach and in the sea.

The 4 point safety code:

Remember FLAGS when at the beach

Find the red and yellow flags and swim between them

Look at the safety signs

Ask a lifeguard for advice

Get a friend to swim with you

Stick your hand in the air and shout for help if in difficulty

The lifeguard's flags

red yellow lifeguard flag Red & yellow flags
These flags show which area of the beach is being patrolled by the lifeguards. This area is safe for swimming, bodyboarding and the use of inflatables
black white chequered flag Black & white chequered flag
This is the surfing area. It has been designated for using surfboards and to keep these away from other bathers. You should not swim in this area.
red lifeguard flag Red flag
The red flag indicates the sea is out of bounds. On no account must you enter the water as there is a real danger of drowning
orange lifeguard windsock The orange windsock
The windsock indicates offshore winds. These make it potentially dangerous to use inflatables as they may be blown out to sea.

Spot the dangers

Always follow the 4-point water safety code;

  • Check out the beach when you arrive
  • Take care when bathing and swimming
  • Beware of rocks, piers, groynes / breakwaters
  • Be aware of dangerous rip currents

Don't go alone

  • Swim with a friend - Never go on your own
  • Make sure there are other people around - you never know when help might be needed

Take safety advice

  • Swim where there is a lifeguard on patrol and within a zoned area of red/yellow flags
  • Look out for information - warning signs and flags
  • Never swim where a sign says not to, or when a red flag is flying
  • Listen and take advice from lifeguards

Learn how to help

  • If you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a lifeguard if there is one nearby, or
    • Go to the nearest telephone, dial 999 or 112, ask for the coastguard
    • You can learn lifesaving and rescue skills

 

For a list of beaches offering a lifeguard service go to our lifeguards page