For swimming, go preferably to patrolled beaches, read the safety signs and locate the lifeguards patrol. Check the colour of the flag before going into the water.
Taking a dip in the sea
If you witness an in-water emergency, get help from a lifeguard immediately or call 112. Do not attempt to rescue anyone unless you are a water rescue professional.
- Follow at all times the instructions coming from lifeguards and local authorities.
- Do not be overconfident about your swimming skills, get aware of the dangers.
- Refrain from swimming if you are not feeling well or if you feel tired.
- If you are in the water and feel sick or notice something is wrong with you, get out immediately.
- Enter the water slowly; diving into it should be done in a gradual way especially if the water is cold, if you have been exposed to the sun for a long time or if you have been doing vigorous exercise. Get your neck, abdomen, and arms wet before diving and enter the water slowly.
- Do not enter the water if still going through digestion.
- Do not stay too long neither in nor under the water.
- Do not drink alcohol before taking a dip or if you are practicing water sports.
- Keep an eye on children at all times. If they cannot swim, make sure they wear a flotation device suitable to their ages that help them keep their head out of the water. Make sure there is an adult at all times supervising your children while taking a dip or playing near the water.
- Avoid rip current areas: you can get pulled away without even noticing it. Never use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas for the rip current can pull you away easily. In case of storm, you must get out of the water immediately.
- Do not dive headfirst if you are not familiar with the place or if there are rocks around.
- If you swim in the sea, do it parallel to the shore in order not to get too far into the seawaters. If you cannot swim, stand in the water only up to your waist, and do not go away from the shore.
- Respect the set boundaries aimed at water sport practice since you could be hit by a surfboard or a water motorcycle.
- In order to avoid getting your feet hurt, wear beach shoes suitable for walking on the rocks or on sea moss. You must be watchful with sea urchins, jellyfish and sea spiders. In public showers use flip-flops or shower shoes. If possible use the anti-slip kind.
Safe sun tanning tips
- Avoid being under the sun too long. Use protection such as sun umbrellas, hats, T-shirts, sunglasses etc.
- Wear always sunscreen, especially if you have a sensitive skin. Extreme precautions between 11 am and 4 pm.
- Make sure that kids and old people take in liquids often to stay hydrated. Children under 6 months should be kept out of the sun and should wear clothes to protect them from the sun´s ultraviolet rays.
- Avoid dehydration; make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol beverages.
Water sports safety
Always respect the regulations of each sport and stick to safety rules. Practice the water sports where allowed, always being aware of other people.
- When practicing a water sport such as water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, jet-skiing, respect the access set for the entry and exit points. Mind swimmers and other beach users. In the zones of beaches where there is not beaconage drive away about 200 meters from the shore.
- Do not practise water sports on your own, but if so, let your relatives or friends know where you are heading to and the time you expect to be back.
- Before setting out, be aware of the current and forecast weather conditions. The wind and the sea can change quickly at the coast. Do not go out into the sea at dusk: in case of trouble it would be more difficult for rescue services to find you in the dark.
- Wear always bright coloured clothes so that you can be spotted more easily. Always use a personal flotation device.
- If you go out fishing stay away from dangerous areas: you should bear in mind that a sudden change on the sea conditions can drag you away from the shore.
- If you practise scuba diving, always bring a knife with you and use a signalling device like a buoy to make you visible. Do not get away from the boat.
- Do not swim against the currents: wait until they lose intensity. In the meantime, let yourself be carried by them. Try your best to keep away from the areas where waves break.
When scuba diving:
- Do not attempt to dive beyond your ability. Make sure you are in good physical condition to undertake this activity and do not practise it if you are not feeling well.
- Always dive with somebody. Never alone.
- Plan your diving taking into consideration the currents at the dive site, the water temperature and the sea condition. Do not dive if the sea is rough.
- Use a signalling device (an orange buoy) to make you visible when your're diving and do not get away from the boat.
- Check regularly on your position in relation to the shore, be alert about any sound of ships propellers or boats. If necessary lift your arm to make you visible and prevent ships from getting too near.
- Do not hold your breath for too long if doing apnea diving.
- Respect all sort of marine fauna and flora.
If there is a storm with high waves
The Mediterranean basin is prone to storms and strong winds that stir up the sea creating big waves on the coast. Even if there is no evidence of dangerousness, be careful; the maritime storm can make that you are dragged away by a knock of sea.
- In case of big waves refrain from swimming and do not stay on the beach. Respect the safety signs.
- Maximize precautions in water sports or professional activities in the sea and avoid them in case of huge waves.
- Do not go near the shore affected by rough waves or where waves pound more strongly. Respect the access closures to these points for your security.
- Do not stop to watch the sea waves: avoid danger.
- Stay away from quay walls, breakwaters, maritime promenades and other places where waves are near. Look for a safe place.
- In case someone falls into the water call immediately 112 and try to retain the exact location where the person has disappeared in order to inform the rescue crew.
- In case you fall into the water, swim in the opposite direction to the rocks and try floating without making much effort, and wait for help to come.
If you witness someone in trouble in the water or some relative or friend of yours is taking too long to come back, call immediately 112. If possible, throw a flotation device, yell for help but never attempt to rescue anyone if you are not a trained lifeguard.