Safety on the beach
Sunbathing, swimming, playing: a day on the beach is fun. But be careful! The sea can also be treacherous, even dangerous to the inexperienced swimmer. Don’t go in the water alone, look after each other and keep your children in sight at all times. Also pay attention to whether a flag has been hoisted, indicating whether you are allowed to swim.
Tides: low and high tide
Low and high tides create strong currents. Tide timetables listing low and high tide times are displayed at the Noordwijk lifeguard stations.
Beware of channels in the sea
Off the coast, there are rows of sandbanks. At low tide, you can sometimes see the sandbanks. Perpendicular to the coast, there are gaps, or channels, between the sandbanks. These channels are not always situated in the same place and in between them, the water can flow strongly. If you end up in such a channel, allow yourself to be carried along by the current. You will automatically end up further out in the sea where the current is less strong. By swimming away diagonally out of the channel, you will be able to reach the shore.
It is almost always windy at the seaside. When the wind blows from the sea to the land (onshore wind), there are high waves. When the wind blows from the land to the sea (offshore wind), there are hardly any waves. Offshore wind makes it hard to swim back to shore. Therefore, the advice is to not go deeper into the sea than hip level.
The yellow flag will be flying at lifeguard stations and pavilions when there is a strong current, there are dangerous channels or there is an offshore wind. This means that it is extra dangerous to swim in the sea.
Red flag: do NOT enter the water!
The red flag will be flying at lifeguard stations and pavilions when the current is too dangerous, there are high waves or there is a (threat of a) thunderstorm. In this case, you are not allowed to enter the water!
Black and white chequered flag: water sports zone
There are 3 areas in the sea designated for use by water sports lovers, kitesurfers and sailors. These areas are marked with a black and white chequered flag. You are advised not to go swimming in these parts of the sea as this may be dangerous.
White flag with question mark: there is a lost child at the lifeguard station
Children who get lost will be taken care of at the lifeguard stations. A flag with a question mark indicates that there is a lost child at the lifeguard station.
Tips for when someone is in trouble
Keep the following tips in mind when someone is in need:
- Maintain visual contact with the drowning person.
- Tell someone else to call 112. Let the drowning person know that you have called for help.
- Do also alert the lifeguards, pavilion manager and other beach visitors. And ask for their help.
- See whether you can throw the drowning person a floatation device, such as an air mattress or buoy.
- Make sure you don’t put yourself in danger.
- Only enter the water if there really is no other option and you are an experienced swimmer. If you do enter the water, make sure to let someone on the shore know.
Keep your child(ren) in sight at all times
Along the beach, there are blue identification signs with pictures of a sailing boat, for example, a beach ball or ice cream. Every beach zone has its own picture. Show your child(ren) which sign you are sitting near to. You can pick up free wristlets for your child(ren) from the lifeguard stations. Write you mobile number on your child(ren)’s wristlet(s) so you can be contacted in case they get lost.
If you like more information about the dangers of the sea, you can contact the lifeguard station by telephone number +31 (0)71 36 13 003. You also can always pop into the lifeguard station, exit 18 or look at reddingsbrigadenoordwijk.nl