Its that time of year again, school is out for the very, very, very long summer holidays! With so many families heading off on summer vacation its a great time to talk about beach flags. With all the different colours, patterns and combinations it can be a little overwhelming so lets look at exactly what each beach flag means.
The Yellow Flag
Meaning: Medium Hazard Moderate surf and/or currents are present. Weak swimmers are discouraged from entering the water. For others, enhanced care and caution should be exercised.
The Red Flag
Meaning: High Hazard Rough conditions such as strong surf and/or currents are present. All swimmers are discouraged from entering the water. Those entering the water should take great care.
The Red Over Red Flag
Meaning: Water is closed to public use DO NOT enter the water.
Very dangerous conditions present
The Purple Flag
Meaning: Marine pests present Jellyfish, stingrays, sea snakes or other marine life are present in the water, and can cause minor injuries. This flag is not intended to indicate the presence of sharks. In this case the red flag or double red flag may be flown.
The Red and Yellow Flag (this is the one you want to see when you arrive at the beach!)
Meaning: Recommended swimming area with lifeguard supervision The area is protected by lifeguards. These flags are usually used in pairs spaced apart to indicate a designated area or zone along a beach or waterfront that is most closely supervised or patrolled by qualified lifeguards, and where swimming and/or body surfing is permitted. These flags may be used singly to indicate that swimming is permitted in front of the area where the flag is flown and that the area is under the supervision of a qualified person.
The Quartered Flag
Meaning: Watercraft area These flags are usually used in pairs spaced apart to indicate a designated area or zone along a beach or waterfront that is used by those with surfboards and other non-powered watercraft. This IS NOT an area for swimming and body surfing.
The Black Ball Flag
Meaning: Watercraft use prohibited Surfboards and other non-powered watercraft are prohibited.