Beach Warning Flag System

South Florida beaches use a uniform flag warning system to advise beachgoers of potential safety risks. These colored flags indicate the nature of the threat and the action government officials advise. The flag warning system is consistent throughout the state of Florida. The government describes each flag as follows:

  • Red flags with a no swimming symbol indicate that the water is closed to the public.
  • Red flags without a symbol indicate a high hazard from surf and/or currents.
  • Yellow flags indicate a medium hazard from moderate surf and/or currents.
  • Green flags indicate a low hazard with calm conditions. Beachgoers should still exercise caution.
  • Purple flags indicate a hazard from dangerous marine life.

These flags are used in conjunction with another colored flag indicating the current surf/current conditions. It is extremely important to monitor the flag warning system. Dangerous rip currents may exist in the water but provide no visible indication from shore. This is especially true in South Florida, where distant tropical storms may impact our currents and produce dangerous beach conditions even when no other symptoms of tropical weather are present.

For current beach conditions, please call 305.866.3635.

How to Avoid and Survive Rip Currents

  • Learn how to swim!
  • Never swim alone.
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
  • If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1 . Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

Wheelchair Accessible Beach

Wheelchair access is available at the 88th and 96th entrance to the beach.

A beach wheelchair is available to Town residents and those staying in Surfside hotels. The wheelchair is located at the Town Surfside Parks and Recreation Department at the Community Center, 9301 Collins Avenue, Surfside. Please call 305.866.3635 for more information.

NOTE: Residents and approved guests may also access the beach through the Community Center.

NOTE:Guests must provide a bill from the hotel stating the number people staying in the room and for what length of time.