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Strong winds, rip currents and rough waves make for a situation that is not safe for even for the strongest swimmers

Certain areas in the water might seem calm, but that should be a warning.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's that time of year. The weather is perfect and the beach is calling. Before packing up the kids and heading out, it's important to do your research.

Austin Boggess is the Senior Lifeguard with Gulf Beach Rescue; he said taking just a few minutes to find out the current beach and water conditions could make a huge difference.

"Before coming out to the beach be aware of the conditions, how strong the wind is," Boggess said. "It's a surfer's paradise, but conditions out here at Packery Channel can quickly turn dangerous. We have permanent rip currents which are close to or around our jetties."

Certain areas in the water might seem calm, but that should be a warning.

"When you don't see waves crashing like you normally would see, chances are that's a rip current," Boggess said. "Even from the shoreline, if you see an area with no waves, that's probably a rip current, might not be a good area to get into the water."

Visitors from out of town or even locals who don't visit the beaches often could be caught off guard. 

Knowing how the Warning Flag System works is also important.

  • Red means extremely hazardous conditions. It's best to avoid the water or stay in very shallow areas.
  • Yellow means there's a moderate risk. Swimmers should be aware of their surroundings and use the buddy system.
  • Orange means there's an environmental hazard like pollution in the air or water.
  • Blue indicates marine life like jellyfish and stingrays could pose a threat.
  • Green is a go, which means everything is okay.

Being aware, alert and informed is the key to staying safe this summer.

Beach and water conditions are posted and updated daily here. 

Click here for a description of the Flag Warning System.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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