Visiting the beach is among the most popular ways to enjoy the summer in Massachusetts and other coastal areas of New England. While some beachgoers are content to spend their time lounging in the sand, many take this opportunity to swim in the ocean.
This overview is not meant to discourage anyone from doing so if they are experienced and responsible swimmers. It is simply important to remember that swimming in the ocean can be dangerous if you don’t exercise caution. Minimize your chances of drowning or being injured by keeping the following essential tips in mind:
Be realistic about your swimming abilities
Historically, many drownings in the ocean, public pools, waterpark attractions, and other such locations have occurred because victims overestimated their swimming abilities. If you don’t have much experience swimming or you’re not a particularly strong swimmer, err on the side of caution and either refrain from swimming in the ocean entirely or stay very close to the shoreline when doing so.
Stay with a partner
Very experienced swimmers may be able to safely swim the ocean on their own. That said, whenever possible, it is highly advisable to stay close to at least one other strong swimmer while in the ocean. If you suddenly begin to drown, the presence of someone nearby can determine whether you survive.
Swimming in the ocean can be a very exhilarating and exciting activity. Some people enjoy the experience so much that they don’t notice when they are becoming tired.
It is critical to understand that swimming is a very demanding physical activity. You need to take breaks periodically to ensure your safety. You don’t want to suddenly realize you’re more tired than you thought and therefore lacked the energy to swim back to shore.
Listen to the lifeguards
Don’t be the type of beachgoer who treats lifeguards as “killjoys” whose job it is to limit the fun you have. Lifeguards are tasked with enforcing rules to maximize the safety of everyone at the beach. If a lifeguard demands that you return to shore because you have headed too far out to the ocean, don’t pretend that you can’t hear them.
Comply with their demands instead. Doing so will play a critical role in your safety.
Monitor weather and currents
It is always wise to check weather reports before heading out to the beach. Additionally, some agencies and organizations may provide information regarding how strong currents and rip tides are expected to be on any given day.
Consider rescheduling your trip to the beach if you learn that hazardous weather or strong currents are likely. If you do go to the beach, monitor weather and current conditions, and leave the ocean if you notice thunder, lightning, strong currents, or other such risk factors.
All that said, sometimes people are injured or lose their lives while swimming in the ocean due to the negligence of those whose job it is to keep them safe. If you have been injured or a loved one has lost their life at the beach, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit against such parties as the local government agency or organization responsible for the beach’s operations, a negligent lifeguard service, etc.
Review your case with a professional to discuss your options. At Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C., a Boston personal injury attorney will help you better understand whether you have grounds to take legal action. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 617-698-6000 to schedule a consultation.