Updated: Sunday, August 4 2013, 10:08 AM CDT
The red flag represents a high hazard due to high surf and/or strong currents. All swimmers should stay out of the water.
Current Beach Conditions
Rip Currents are the greatest danger to beach patrons. A rip current is caused by water piling on the shoreline from wave action and rushing out to sea through breaks in the sandbar.
To escape from a rip, swim perpendicular to the pull of the current. We recommend patrons swim near a lifeguard. If there aren't lifeguards present then you should stay on the sandbars and stay away from dark water.
Longshore Shore Current
Also known as a lateral drift in the littoral zone, a long shore current is caused by wind and wave action that pushes water down the beach.
Longshore currents are dangerous because they can sweep victims into rip currents or push them down the shore into inshore holes.
The beautiful sand at Pensacola Beach causes a variety of wave shapes. Swimmers should not allow themselves to be knocked around by the surf. Plunging waves can cause trauma and spinal injuries by throwing patrons into a sandbar. Don't let those waves knock you down, stand up for yourself.