Water and Sun Safety


“They treat you like you're a part of the family.” —Keith H.

Footprints in the sand. Kids at the beach. San Diego, California

Water and sun, the perfect combination for fun with friends! Swimming, diving, fishing, river rafting, power boating, sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, surfing and more are yours to enjoy at our pools, lakes, rivers and coasts.

So dive right in, but do it safely. Water-related accidents can happen in seconds, and can usually be prevented. This Web site contains important safety tips for water-related activities. Read it through and share the information with your friends. Be prepared to help keep water sports safe for yourself and others.

Swimming and Diving

Common sense precautions can make time in the water both fun and safe for you and your friends.

  • Learn to swim if you don’t already know how. Lessons are available at community pools for all age groups and levels of experience.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Keep at least one Coast Guard Approved Type IV throwable flotation device by the backyard pool. A flotation device should be thrown near, not at, a victim.
  • Swim only in designated areas or familiar waters.
  • Don’t overestimate your skills or abilities.
  • Never dive near other swimmers.
  • Don’t rely on inflatable water toys to keep you afloat.
  • Dive only from the front of a diving board or from the pool edge, and never from a balcony, fence, ladder, etc.
  • Diving accidents can cause spinal injury. Gently move the victim to shallow water, being careful not to bend or twist the neck. Call immediately for trained help.

Unfamiliar Waters 

Approach unfamiliar waters with caution, no matter how safe they may appear to be. Potential dangers can exist along that inviting river or ocean stretch.

  • Sudden dropoffs, broken glass, stumps or debris may be hidden beneath the water surface.
  • The power of waves, currents and undertows can be deceptive, and can overpower even the strongest of swimmers. Every year riptides catch swimmers and waders unaware, resulting in hundreds of drownings.
  • Rocks along the water’s edge can be slippery. Move with caution when climbing them.
  • Most natural bodies of water are colder than air. Immersion can result in hypothermia.
  • Stay off frozen lakes and ponds unless they have been officially declared safe.
  • Wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) when entering the water to fish, etc.

Rafting and Kayaking Safety Tips

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