Safely Enjoy the South Walton Beaches by Knowing the Beach Safety Flag System and Following the Rules of the Beach

South Walton promotes a fun, safe beach experience by utilizing many communications tools. A system of colored flags keeps residents, hosts and visitors informed of current surf conditions. With our convenient texting service and free "Perfect Beach" app, it's even easy to stay informed before reaching the beach!

 

Beach Flag Color Warning System 

  • Double Red Flag - Water Closed
  • Red Flag - High Hazard
  • Yellow Flag - Moderate Surf/Currents
  • Green Flag - Calm Conditions
  • Purple Flag - Dangerous Marine Life
  • White/Blue Flag - Temporary Technical Issues - Text "SAFETY" to 31279 to remain up to date on flag conditions**

    Download a Beach Safety Flyer 

Get Beach Condition Updates to Your Phone by Text or with the VSW App

For current conditions and flag updates text “FLAG” to 31279* to receive a link or visit SWFD.org.

*South Walton Beach Conditions: Message and Data Rates May Apply. Periodic Messaging. For help, text HELP, text STOP to end. For more information, see our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

**For those who regularly receive beach safety updates via the web, mobile, app or social media, we encourage you to check the flags on the beach and subscribe to our daily text service for conditional updates by texting "FLAG" to 31279. 

Download the Visit South Walton Perfect Beach App               

Follow the Walton County Beach Rules

  • Leave No Trace - Items left on beach overnight will be discarded
  • Permits Required - Vehiclesdogs and bonfires require permits
    • Learn more about beach bonfires here. To obtain a beach bonfire permit, click here
  • Stay Safe - Obey all beach flag warnings
  • Sea Turtle Season rules, ordinances and laws
  • Know Before You Go
    • To prevent crowding, no tents larger than 10x10 are permitted on county owned or maintained beaches and must be set up on the top 1/3 of the beach. 
    • Please allow a 15’ setback from dunes and water’s edge for emergency vehicles
    • No glass containers are permitted on the beach
    • No charcoal grills are permitted on the beach, propane grills may be permitted if 225 sq inches (approximately 16" x 20")  or smaller. 
    • Removal of sand, water or vegetation is strictly prohibited
    • Keep off the dunes

Rip Current Information

Identify a Rip Current

  • Darker color surf, indicating deeper water
  • Murky brown water caused by sand stirred up on the bottom
  • Smaller unorganized waves, alongside more evenly breaking waves over a sand bar
  • Waves breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip current

How to Help Someone Caught in a Rip Current

  • Notify a lifeguard
  • Have someone call 911, give accurate landmarks
  • Do not enter the water, you too will be caught in the current
  • Throw them a flotation device
  • Try not to lose sight of the victim

What To Do If You Are Caught in a Rip Current

  • Don’t panic or swim against the current
  • Relax, float with the current until it dissipates
  • Swim parallel to shore and back in

Of course, the best way to avoid a rip current is to know the surf conditions before entering the water! Know the conditions and watch the flags!