Long Island's Jones Beach, the most popular and visited beach on the east coast, is the scene of many beach accidents each year. With heavy sun, crashing waves, large crowds, and miles of sandy shore, it is important to follow some safety guidelines when visiting this popular attraction. Long Island accident attorney Neal Goldstein provides these eight tips for keeping safe during your next visit to Jones Beach:
• Swim between the green flags. These flags are set up to mark off areas that are safe and have a lifeguard on duty. Ocean accidents happen in a split second, and even the most experienced swimmers should swim under the watch of a lifeguard.
• Swim with a buddy. The lifeguard has many people to watch. It is always smart to have at least one person swimming with you who knows where you are and can get a lifeguard's attention if needed.
• Swim, surf, or boogie board in areas specifically designated for these activities.
• Be careful of rip currents. If you do enter a rip current, do not try to swim directly to shore. Instead, try to relax and swim parallel to the shoreline until the current allows you to swim back. It may take a little time, but it can also save your life.
• Do not drink and swim. Alcohol is one of the major causes of drowning. It not only lowers body temperatures and impairs judgment, it also prompts risky (and sometimes stupid) behavior. Alcohol is not allowed into Jones Beach and they patrol the beach to enforce this rule. If you do have alcohol, you can be asked to leave the beach and even ticketed.
• Watch for glass, broken shells, bottle caps and other sharp objects in the sand. Likewise, make sure to be considerate and throw your trash out so others don't get hurt.
• Play safely in the sand. Avoid burying people. While kids love to do this, the sand can quickly collapse and suffocate a person. Also, if your kids dig a hole, fill it in before you leave the beach so others don't trip or fall into it.
• Use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Bring an umbrella, extra sunscreen to reapply, hats and sunglasses for maximum protection.
Jones Beach has so much to offer, and just following these safety tips will help prevent accidents and injuries that can ruin your trip.