Beach safety: understanding the flags

While the Gulf of Mexico’s glistening waters are beautiful, it is important to respect mother nature. Unlike Atlantic beaches where big crashing, white caps tell swimmers when dangerous conditions exist, gulf waters seem more placid even when there are strong currents at work.

Our top-notch lifeguard program is constantly monitoring water conditions during the summer and uses a standardized flag system to alert swimmers to beach conditions including strong wave breaks and rip currents. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the flag system when enjoying Navarre Beach.



If a green flag is flying, the risk to swimmers is very low. Have fun! Just remember it is important to always know your limits when swimming, even on green flag days.



There is moderate risk to swimmers due to surf and current conditions. Our highly trained lifeguards may be able to see risks that you cannot. On yellow flag days, avoid entering the water above your waistline. Follow any instructions lifeguards give you.



Beach water conditions are dangerous. Do not enter the water.


Double red

If there are two red flags flying, the water is closed. Period. These conditions mean it is storming bad, and rescuers will be unable to safely enter the water if someone is in distress. Do not ever go in the gulf, even up to your ankles, during a double red flag. One rogue wave could spell disaster.

Play it safe and visit one of our indoor amenities instead. Check out the Sea Turtle Conservation Center or try your hand at one of our Escape Rooms.



This flag means there is marine life risk. Typically, purple flags go up when there is an elevated risk of being stung by a jellyfish or stingray. Ask a lifeguard for additional information and where to safely swim.

Stingrays are not aggressive and will run from people given the chance. But if you step on them, the barb on their tail can really hurt. To avoid this, locals do what is called the stingray shuffle, dragging your feet gently on the underwater sand to let these critters know your coming.


Now that you know, it is time to go! Come see us at

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