Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces - Beaches

Seaside Safety

Please always regard the sea with caution

Below we have provided some helpful information to help keep you safe whilst spending time at the beach and in the sea.

Whilst at the beach do not:

  • Enter the water or swim when red danger flags are flying - this means the sea conditions are considered dangerous.
  • Swim near breakwaters or where red danger notices are displayed.
  • Swim immediately after a meal - wait an hour.
  • Play ON or dive FROM breakwaters (they may be slippery, hazardous and hide underwater hazards alongside).
  • Use inflatable air beds or 'play' craft in the sea unless tethered close to the shore. Never use them when wind conditions are blowing off-shore
  •  Damage or abuse lifesaving equipment.

If you are going afloat:

  • Make sure your craft and equipment are in sound condition.
  • Wear life jackets.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Hiring a boat - ensure that it is licensed for public use.
  • Ensure sea and weather conditions are suitable - if in doubt seek advice.

Emergency equipment

The Isle of Wight Council maintains beach emergency equipment around the Island. View our list of the emergency lifebelts, provided at various locations: Emergency Lifebelts Equipment (PDF, 21.6KB, 4 pages).

Beach safety personnel

If you need advice regarding safety at the beach please ask any of the beach safety personnel and local deckchair and boat hire operators are pleased to advise on daily sea conditions. 


If you see somebody in trouble on the beach or in the sea please telephone 999 (no money required) and ask for the Coastguard.  Keep calm and tell the Coastguard:

  • Where the trouble is.
  • What the trouble is.
  • The telephone number of the phone you are using.
  • Your name and address.