Tips on Swimming Safety

The beaches around Accra are beautiful and a fun place to spend the day; however, never make the mistake of underestimating the strength and predictability of the currents. The strongest swimmer can easily drown here. Riptides, whirlpools and undertows are common. Keep a very close watch on children; having them wear life jackets at all times is not a bad idea; and if going into water deeper than your waist, having a flotation device, such as a kickboard or float, is highly recommended.

Before going into the water, ask the lifeguard or someone from the area what the conditions are like. Be aware that there are more tricky currents during the rainy season. Strong winds may also indicate dangerous offshore conditions. Watch out for submerged rocks or offshore formations that restrict the flow of water, resulting in increased turbulence. If you are caught in a riptide or whirlpool, DO NOT PANIC, and don't try to swim to shore. Do your best to float on your back and assess the direction of the current. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you feel the current weaken, then turn and swim toward shore. Use your surfboard or flotation device to maintain your energy.

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