Water & Sun Safety

General water safety tips:
1. “Buddy up”, don’t swim alone.
2. Swim in Lifeguard supervised areas, especially children.
3. Know the rules, read the posted signs & adhere to lifeguards directions, rules serve to protect.
4. Watch the water, be aware of the potential hazards. Ask about hazards, rip currents, rogue waves.
5. Feet first, never head first, take the time to survey the environment.
6. Children & Inexperienced swimmers should utilize US coast guard approved flotation.
7. Save your skin, apply sunscreen, sunblock & wear rash guards, hats and sunglasses.
8. Take a course in C.P.R., artificial respiration & rescue skills.
9. Stay hydrated but avoid alcohol.
10. Get fit & stay fit and understand your limitations, ” any doubt, don’t go out”!

Paddle boaters ~ Kayaking & Canoeing basic safety tips:

1. Know and follow all local, state and federal laws.
2. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
3. Obtain the knowledge, skills and ability necessary for kayaking and canoeing.
4. Know how to swim an self-rescue. “Practice makes perfect” !
5. Boat in groups, 3 boats is a recommended minimum.
6. Pick an activity level that matches your ability, and progress to more demanding challenges,” know your limits”.
7. Pack appropriate safety, rescue,navigational aids, water,food, protective clothing & sunscreen.
8. File a float plan, with friends,,family, or the authorities & check the weather, & water conditions.
9. Monitor your physical and emotional condition, and watch your friends for fatigue, illness, and changes in behavior.
10.Wear bright colors and carry a bright light, flares, and whistle to signal your position.
11. Check your equipment, make sure everything is working from top to bottom.
12.Take a boating safety class offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, learn CPR & 1st aid.

Surfing & SUP Safety tips: “What you choose to ride is irrelevant, if you are riding a wave; you are surfing!” -ceholli

1. “Buddy up” surf with someone.
2. Know how to swim, swim strong & practice.
3. Take a lesson, understand the basic fundamentals of surfing.
4. Stay with your board, with or without a leash.
5. Understand all possible hazards, ask lifeguards or locals about rips, rocks, reefs & sea creatures.
6. Know your limitations, “any doubt, don’t go out”!
7. Maintain your equipment: body, board, leash and gear.
8. Have a plan, don’t paddle out in the set waves, paddle around to the break when surfing reefs.
9. Relax when you wipe out, panic & fear exhaust oxygen supply, keep your head covered with hands on head, elbows out.
10. Wear a helmet when surfing reef or rock breaks.
11. Learn CPR and 1st aid, lend a hand or leash if someone needs help.
12. Practice and understand safe surf Etiquette. More info on surfing etiquette. More surfing safety rules!

Note: Renting surfboards: Rent a board before buying; find out what you like! Surfboards are a major investment financially but more importantly in your fun time, buy what you like not a board someone sells you. Renting surfboards when traveling: Less than 10 days; rent and you will have a full quiver at your disposal for changes in wave consistency & save some money!

Boating Safety tips:

1.Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do the same.
2. Take a boating safety course .
3. Stay in control by taking charge of your safety and that of your passengers.
4. Never drink alcohol while boating but do Stay Hydrated.
5. Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and navigational rules.
6. Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a careful lookout.
7. Check the weather forecast.
8. Have your vessel checked for safety—for free.
9. Use a carbon monoxide detector.
10. File a float plan.

Fishing Safety tips:

If using a boat to fish, wear a life jacket and make sure each passenger wears one, too.
Inspect waterfronts daily—the natural environment is subject to change without notice.
Don’t fish in areas where it is not permitted. These areas have been declared “off limits” to protect wildlife, vegetation, or for your safety.
When choosing a site for fishing, always consider safety factors. Because fishing is practiced in a variety of environments, evaluate factors specific to safety in each environment.
Weather is always a factor. Set up a weather committee or rotate weather forecasting responsibilities.
Bring along extra safety items such as water, flashlights, maps, and a cell phone or radio.
Always wear footwear appropriate to the conditions.
Stay dry, warm and protected from the elements. Wear a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Wear thin layers of clothing that progress outward to include water and wind protection as the final layer.
Use appropriate insect protection measures, including proper clothing and repellents.
Keep fishing knives sharp and cover the blade when not in use.
Handle fish carefully & when baiting & removing hooks.
Use safety glasses when casting.

Diver tips:

1. Get proper training, get certified!
2. Don’t dive beyond your ability.
3. Don’t hold your breath, breathe slowly and in a relaxed manner and to exhale fully.
4. Never dive alone, take care of each other.
5. Get fit & stay fit allowing you to handle the stress of diving.
6. Check weather conditions!
7. Ascend slowly and with control, 30 feet per minute, stop at 15 feet for at least 3 minutes after deeper dives.
8. Maintain your equipment, check & service regularly.
9. Relax, never panic, stop, breathe, think and then act.
10. Plan your dive and dive your plan.

Shark Avoidance tips:

1. Avoid murky, cloudy water.
2. Swim, surf, dive, snorkel or play in groups.
3. Try to stay close to shore to insure immediate assistance.
4. Be alert to areas where birds are feeding.
5. Do not enter water with open wound.
6. Understand that sunrise & sunset are favorite feeding times.
7. Do not wear shiny objects.
8. Do not splash excessively.
9. Sharks like areas between sandbars and drop offs.
10.Use your noggin, if sharks are present or sighted stay out of the water.
11.Remember, shark attacks are rare & usually a mistake by the shark.

Safety & Protection Tips:
Find some shade, especially during the sun’s peak hours (10:00am-4:00pm).
Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.Use a sunscreen block on problem areas like the nose, ears, neck,lips, cheeks & hands. Utilize sunscreens, sunblocks & lip balm that are water-resistant if you plan to swim or exercise. Sun damage occurs even on cloudy & cold days.
Wear rash guards with a high SPF rating if you are on the beach or in the water. Cover up with clothing, especially a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Avoid tanning parlors and artificial tanning devices. The ultraviolet light from the tanning booths can cause skin cancer and make the skin age prematurely.
Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements.
Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens can be used on babies over the age of six months.
Check with your doctor to be sure about medication interactions with the sun.
Teach children good sun-protective practices and be a role model, do, as well as teach!
Examine your skin from head to toe once every month.
Have a professional medical examination annually. Always get new skin lesions checked by a physician promptly.
Avoid tanning and especially — do not burn! One blistering sunburn can double your risk of melanoma.
Check UV index scale for all your outdoor activities! Sample UV index numbers around the globe!

Some frightening skin cancer facts:
More than 1.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States.
One in five Americans and one in three Caucasians will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Nationally, there are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon.
Non-Melanoma, basal & squamous cell, skin cancers are epidemically on the rise.
More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, yet fewer than 33 percent of adults, adolescents, and children routinely use sun protection.
The incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is rising faster than that of any other cancer. There are now nearly 8,000 melanoma deaths every year.
One person dies every hour from skin cancer, primarily melanoma.
By 2010, melanoma is projected to rise to one in 50 Americans.
While melanoma is uncommon in African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is most deadly for these populations.
The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men older than age 50.
Skin cancer is the No. 1 cancer in men 50 and older, ahead of prostate, lung and colon cancer.
Middle-aged and older men have the poorest track record for performing monthly skin self exams or regularly visiting a dermatologist. They are the least likely individuals to detect melanoma in its early stages.
Men over age 40 spend the most time outdoors and have the highest annual exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
In the past 30 years, skin cancer has tripled in women younger than 40.
Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29.
One blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
Regular sun protection throughout childhood can reduce the risk of skin cancer by 80 percent.
It is estimated that 2.3 million teens visit a tanning salon at least once a year.
In the past 20 years there has been more than a 100 percent increase in the cases of pediatric melanoma.
Less than half of all teenagers use sunscreen.
The effects of photo aging (skin aging caused by the sun or tanning machines) can be seen as early as in one’s 20s.
Information courtesy of The Skin Cancer Foundation, New York, NY