Beach & Water Safety

 “ Beach & Water Safety”

Summer officially started on June 21st and our scenic beaches are a very popular destination for residents and visitors. The following beach and water safety tips are being proactively disseminated in an effort to increase safety of those that enjoy the beach and waterways in Flagler Beach.

Learn To Swim: Learning to swim is the best defense against drowning. Teach children to swim at an early age.

Swim Near a Lifeguard: The United States Lifeguard Association statistics over a ten (10) year period show that the chance of drowning at a beach without lifeguard protection is almost five (5) times as great as drowning at a beach with lifeguards.

Swim with a Friend: Many drownings involve those that swim by themselves. When you swim with a friend, if one (1) of you has a problem, the other may be able to help or signal for help.

Check with the Lifeguards:  Lifeguards work continually to identify hazards.  They can advise you on the safest place to swim, as well as places to avoid. Talk to them when you first arrive at the beach and ask them for their advice.

Use Sunscreen and Drink Water:  Choose “broad spectrum” sunscreen rated from 15 to 50 SPF, or clothing that covers your skin. Reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day and drink lots of water.  Avoid alcohol, which contributes to dehydration.

Keep the Beach and Water Clean:  Please utilize trash containers and remember to leave footprints in the sand, not your trash.

Obey Posted Signs and Flags: In Flagler Beach our Lifeguards utilize the following flags;

Green Flag:  Low hazard

Yellow Flag:  Medium hazard

Red Flag:  Dangerous hazard

Purple Flag:  Dangerous marine life, to include jellyfish

Learn Rip Current Safety: If you’re caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight it by trying to swim directly to shore.  Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax; then swim to shore.  Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim parallel to shore will bring you to safety. A video presentation on rip currents entitled “Break the Grip of the Rip!” can be viewed at the following website:

If you have any questions regarding Beach and Water Safety in Flagler Beach, please contact Tom Gillin or Captain Doughney. The following websites can also provide additional information on beach & water safety, as well as rip currents;


Special Note: High Tide for July 4th this year is 8:50 p.m. and the Fireworks will start at 9:00 p.m. Please plan ahead and be prepared for the incoming tide.

Fireworks Prohibited

Fireworks Prohibited


The following information is respectfully provided in advance of the July 4th festivities in an effort to increase public awareness, ensure compliance with our City Ordinance prohibiting fireworks, and prevent a fireworks related tragedy from occurring during this year’s holiday celebration.


Under Flagler Beach City Ordinance 9-17 (b) (1) it is considered unlawful for any person to possess, store, use or explode any fireworks in our City Limits.


The City of Flagler Beach utilizes the State of Florida’s definition of “Fireworks”, under Florida State Statute 791.01 (4) (a), which reads as follows; “ Fireworks” means and includes  any combustible or explosive composition or substance or combination of substances or, except as hereinafter provided,any article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion,deflagration, or detonation. The term includes blank cartridges and toy cannons in which explosives are used, the type of balloons which require fire underneath to propel them, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, dago bombs, and any fireworks containing any explosives or flammable compound or any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.


Fireworks present two (2) serious safety concerns for Law Enforcement and Fire Service personnel:

1) Personal Injury, and 2) Fire. If the City Ordinance is obeyed, these two (2) concerns go away, freeing up officials to focus on other important duties.


According to Flagler Beach Police Captain Matt Doughney, fireworks have the potential for “serious personal injury to users and/or observers should an explosive device detonate, misfire or unexpectedly explode.”  It’s common to think “it won’t happen to me,” but two (2) players from the National Football league (NFL) sustained substantial injuries in separate fireworks incidents last year. Statistics from a 2014 study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate:


230 people on average go to the Emergency Room everyday with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.

9 people died due to 8 fireworks-related incidents. In at least 2 incidents, the victims were not the users.


The second safety concern is a spark combined with our hot and dry weather. Fireworks can easily start a brush or house fire.  “When you add fireworks to dry and windy conditions, the results can be devastating” said Captain Bobby Pace of the Flagler Beach Fire Department.


For additional information, please contact Police Captain Doughney at 386-517-2022 or Fire Captain Pace at 386-517-2010.

Floating Sky Lanterns & Aerial Drones

 “ Floating Sky Lanterns & Aerial Drones – July 4th Festivities”


The Flagler Beach Police Department is requesting that aerial drones and floating sky lanterns stay grounded during this year’s Fourth of July festivities.


“One of the most efficient methods used by Law Enforcement to address the egress of traffic associated with large events like the Fourth of July, is a helicopter serving as our ‘eye in the sky,’” said Flagler Beach Police Captain Matt Doughney. “The helicopter allows us to identify traffic problems in real time and create solutions that are not easily recognizable at ground level.”


The increased use of aerial drones by the public over the past few years, along with the release of numerous floating sky lanterns after last year’s fireworks presentation, has prompted this request.


In cases requiring an emergency response by Fire Flight, the helicopter may be required to land in a public area or near the beach. Flying drones in or near an emergency helicopter pose a risk to the pilot as well as the general public and under FAA guidelines, unless you have a permit, they’re unlawful in Flagler Beach due to our close proximity to Flagler County Airport.


“While the floating sky lanterns may look beautiful, they create a serious conflict with airspace,”Doughney continued. “The last thing we need is a pilot dodging flaming lanterns!”


This request is being made in a proactive effort to reduce any conflicts in airspace.  We want this year’s event and subsequent traffic egress to be as safe as possible. Your compliance with this request is greatly appreciated.


For more information, contact Captain Doughney at 386-517-2022.

floating sky lanterns

Floating Sky Lanterns