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During winter, remaining safe at the beach is even more important than during summer, as there are not the droves of friendly and ever-helpful tourists on their family holidays about to spot something going wrong. Whilst you might think that it’s easy to stay safe from beach-based dangers by just staying out of the water, this is certainly not the case.

One of the biggest dangers at the beach is getting cut off from the shore. Wandering along the coast is something that is popular at any time of the year, and when you wander too far, only to realise that your route back has become a little more aquatic than it was when you first crossed it, you’re not going to have an enjoyable time.

If you do decide to go in the water, the weather is likely to be far more hazardous than it was in the summer months, and the temperature can do terrible things to your body; shock and hypothermia are killers. Always make sure you’re prepared with a dry suit and enough warm towels to fully dry yourself off after a swim.

Rip tides don’t stop just because there’s nobody in the water. They can sometimes be identified by wave-less, darker sections of water. This video has more tips on spotting a riptide. If you do find yourself pulled into one and nobody else is around, then you’ve made an awful mistake; always have somebody with you when you swim! To escape a rip tide you’re already caught in, swim parallel to the shore, as trying to swim straight back to land will exhaust you and prove fruitless. Once you are back in the normal water, then you can swim to the shore.

Finally, be aware of all the information available from lifeguards or information signs on the beach, which can help you from wandering onto mudflats or quick sand. If you bear all these things in mind, then the beach can make for a great, cheap family holiday.

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