Summer Season Brings Water Safety Awareness to Galveston Beaches
Beach season is officially upon us and millions of visitors are expected to visit Galveston Island beaches this summer for fun in the sun. While fun should be a priority, so should beach safety.
As we kick off the summer season and recognize National Beach Safety Week, taking place May 22-29, the award-winning Galveston Island Beach Patrol is reminding the public of the following safety tips:
- Avoid rip currents – Stay away from rock jetties and piers
- Swim near a lifeguard
- Never swim alone
- Do not dive in headfirst
- Take sun and heat precautions
- Obey warning signs and flags
Every day, the Galveston Island Beach Patrol raises flags that signal the condition of the water. To learn the meaning behind each flag’s color, visit www.galvestonbeachinfo.com/
Swim near a lifeguard
Galveston boasts an Advanced Level lifeguard service certified by the United States Lifesaving Association. Lifeguards patrol from early morning until dark throughout the summer at the beach parks and along the seawall. Visitors are encouraged to seek out lifeguards and swim nearby for protection.
Avoid dangerous currents
Stay away from the rocks and jetties where there is a chance you could be caught in a dangerous rip current. Also, don’t swim at the ends of the island because of strong tidal currents. To learn more about rip current awareness, visit https://
“80% of our rescues happen in rip currents, which matches national statistics,” said Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis.
“Lifeguards are there to help reduce the number of accidents at our beaches, but we cannot do the job alone,” said Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis. “An informed public is essential to maintaining proper levels of beach and water safety.”
How does Beach Patrol keep Galveston beaches safe?
Galveston Island Beach Patrol (GIBP) takes beach safety seriously and, beyond the lifeguard program, has implemented a range of initiatives to ensure that visitors to the island’s beaches can enjoy themselves safely. Here are just a few of the programs and initiatives GIBP has in place:
- Wave Watchers Program: The Wave Watchers program is a volunteer initiative that enables trained volunteers to assist beachgoers and lifeguards by observing and reporting on water conditions and any potential hazards. Wave Watchers also assist with lost children and general beach safety issues.
- Water Safety Talks: GIBP provides educational talks and presentations on water safety to groups of all ages, from schoolchildren to adult organizations. These talks cover topics such as rip currents, beach flag systems, and how to spot and avoid potential dangers in the water. There were 105,559 water safety talks last year.
- Junior Guards Program: The Junior Guards program is a summer camp for children aged 10-15, providing them with the opportunity to learn ocean safety, physical fitness, and other important skills related to beach safety. The program emphasizes teamwork, leadership, and personal responsibility.
- Guarding 32 Miles of Coastline: GIBP employs over 100 lifeguards who patrol the beaches along Galveston Island’s 32 miles of coastline. These lifeguards took 515,328 life-saving preventative actions last year, and responded to 1,806 medical calls.
“The main focus of our safety talks is rip currents.” said Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis. “Rip currents are the number one life hazard on the beach, and we want to ensure that everyone who visits our beaches knows how to spot and avoid them to help prevent accidents from happening.”
About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is the birthplace of Juneteenth and home to popular amusements such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island go to www.visitgalveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.