What do the different color flags mean that I see on the walk overs?

Lifeguards throughout the United States have adopted a set of flags to advise bathers of the current ocean conditions. In the absence of condition flags, bathers should be cautious of going into the water. Never assume it is safe to swim in the absence of condition flags.

  • Green Flag - Calm Ocean Conditions. Swim near a lifeguard.
  • Yellow Flag - Moderate Ocean Conditions. Waves, long-shore currents, and rip currents are present; danger may increase greatly depending on tide and/or location. Check with your lifeguard before entering the water.
  • Red Flag - Dangerous Ocean Conditions. Persistent large waves, strong long-shore current, strong rip currents.
  • Double Red Flag - No water activity allowed. Water is closed.
  • Purple Flag - Dangerous Marine Life Present. Although there is always dangerous marine life in the ocean, when the purple flag is seen flown, bathers should be alert that there is an influx of dangerous marine life at the time.

For more information on ocean condition flags, visit our Safety Tips page.

Show All Answers

1. What does the flag mean on the Lifeguard Tower?
2. How can I find out about the current ocean conditions?
3. What do the different color flags mean that I see on the walk overs?
4. What is a rip current?
5. What do I do if I find an injured bird or a marine mammal on the beach?
6. What should I do if I get stung by a jellyfish?
7. Can I sleep or camp overnight on the beach?
8. Can I reserve a spot on the beach for my special event?
9. What should I do if I can not find my child at the beach?
10. What should I do if a lifeguard is whistling at me when I am in the water?