mother and daughter playing together in the sea

Swimming in the sea

On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing more appealing than lounging on the beach and taking a dip in the ocean. If you fancy going swimming in the sea during your stay in Whitby, we’ve got some tips to make it as enjoyable and safe as possible. Plus, with our commitment to beach cleanliness and our Blue Flag rating, you know we’re doing all we can to make your beach day special.

Tips for swimming in the sea

It’s important you’re properly prepared for your swim. Even in the height of summer, the North Sea is cold and can be quite a shock to the system! Walk your way into the ocean slowly so your body can get used to the temperature. Throwing yourself in straight away can cause a rapid change in your body temperature which can be dangerous.

Prepare in advance and make sure you have plenty of warm, dry clothing to return to after your dip. You should also try and swim with others too, so you’ve got someone right there with you if any issues come up. You might even consider wearing a wetsuit when you’re in the sea to help keep you warm.

young boy swimming in the sea

Try and keep to the areas of the beach that are watched over by lifeguards. That way, if you get into any trouble, help can be with you in a matter of moments. You should also check the tide times before going in for your swim so you don’t find yourself drifting too far away from the shore. Swim between the yellow and red flags on the beach so you know you’re in the monitored area.

Make sure you know your limits. Swimming in the sea is entirely different to being in a pool. You’ve got to constantly fight against the water’s current and the waves so you need to be a strong swimmer to venture into the sea.

Don’t use inflatables on the sea, they’re dangerous. They are not designed for use on the open water and you are at risk of being swept far out to sea, so save them for the pool.

Respond to rip currents

Rip currents and changing tides are what you really need to watch out for when swimming in the sea. The water can look calm on the surface, but it churning away below. If you find yourself being dragged out to see, try not to panic. Don’t try to swim against it, you won’t be able to.

Instead, signal to the shore and float as best you can until help arrives. Use your energy to keep your head above water. When you feel the current’s pull start to lessen, you can swim away to safety. Look for where you can see waves breaking and swim towards them, parallel with the shore.

Get in touch

Have you been swimming in the sea at Whitby, or do you prefer to paddle and keep closer to the shore? Let us know your experiences by sending us a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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