Beach Safety

We hope you have an amazing time whilst on holiday in Cornwall,
but don't let it be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

If you are heading to the beach this summer and are unfamiliar with beach safety, please take the time to read all the information below to make sure you and your family can enjoy the Cornish coast safely…

Top Beach Safety Tips

When possible, swim at a beach with lifeguard cover.

Always read and abide by the beach safety signs, which are usually found at the entrance.

Never swim alone.

If you get into trouble at sea, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.

If you see someone else in difficulty, don’t attempt to rescue them. Tell a lifeguard, or if you can’t see a lifeguard call either 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Lifeguarded Beaches – Flag System

Beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards operate a flag system to advise you of swimming areas and water conditions. Below are the flags and their meanings.

Red and Yellow Lifeguard Flag
Red and yellow Flags
– Only swim, body board and use inflatables between these flags as they are the designated area patrolled by lifeguards.


Checkered Lifeguard Flag
Black & White checkered Flags
– Only users of watercraft such as surfboards, kayaks and windsurfs should be within these flags.


Red Lifeguard Flag
Red Flag
– The red flag indicates danger. Never enter the water when the red flag is flying, under any circumstances.


Orange Lifeguard Wind Sock
Orange Windsock
– The orange windsock means that there are offshore wind conditions. You should never use an inflatable when the sock is flying.



Got any beach tips, helpful hints, secret walks or just tell us your beach experience with others , share them with us here below!

Cornwall Beach Cleans

How we’re helping keep Cornwall’s beaches and seas clean

Beach cleans
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rubbish removed
View more about beach cleans in Cornwall and how you can help