Water Safety

Water Safety


Enjoying our beautiful beaches should be approached with reasonable consideration of your family’s safety.

Most Common Safety Concerns

Most Common Safety Concerns

  • Sunburn
    • Always protect yourself from the sun with clothing or sunscreen
  • Dehydration
    • Make sure you pack a canteen of water, enough for the whole family
      • Remember consuming alcohol in the sun can exacerbate dehydration and heat exhaustion.
  • Heat Exhaustion
    • Know the symptoms for heat exhaustion and quickly move anybody to a cooler location, and hydrate. 
      • Call for help 911 if a person is unresponsive, stopped sweating, or is acting strange.
  • Jellyfish Sting
    • Keeping a small flask of white vinegar in your beach bag is the best response to a jellyfish sting.  If somebody is stung apply liberally to the affected skin.
      • Jellyfish can sting even when they are dead so don’t touch a dead jelly.
      • Take a credit card and scrape off any remaining tentacles
      • Do not rinse off in fresh water until you’re sure you’ve removed all signs of the jellyfish, fresh water will cause stingers to fire.

High Risk

High Risk

  • Rip Tides
    • Be especially careful swimming around the Frying Pan Shoals - they have a high rip tide risk
    • Pay attention to rip tide warnings on weather apps or from the Village of BHI
      • If you are caught in a rip tide don’t panic, float or swim parallel to the beach until you get out of the off shore current.
      • Don’t swim against the current you’ll exhaust your self.
      • When you are beyond the rip tide slowly swim back to the beach
      • Never swim alone and call 911 if you see a swimmer in distress
  • Stepping on a Stingray
    • Do the stingray shuffle when in shallow water.  Their spines and barbs will tear the skin of your feet and often result in painful infections.  If you have stepped on a sting ray, seek medical help at the on-island clinic or with public safety.
  • Trip and Falls
    • When you’re done building your sand castle or other sand sculpture please knock it down and especially fill in holes.  These treasures become obstacles for humans and especially for nesting sea turtles.

Low Risk

Low Risk

  • Lightening Strikes
    • If you hear a rumble gather your family from the water.  Lighting can strike as far as 20 miles for the center of the storm.  Always be conservative around lightening.  Call 911 immediately if you think somebody is in the water around a strike.
  • Shark Attack
    • Sharks are a constant presence in BHI waters and to eliminate all risk of an encounter swim only in swimming pools.
      • Sharks are extremely unlikely to attack a human.
      • Stay clear of fishing areas where chum or bait is in the water
      • Stay out of the water if you spy large groups of bait fish
      • Fishers should avoid submerging into the water with bait or chum in your pockets
      • Avoid swimming at dawn, dusk or night
      • Avoid murky waters
      • Avoid excessive thrashing and splashing