Chillin’ Out at the Beach, Part 2

StarfishThis Kind of Jelly Should Stay Far Away From My Sandwich
After taking a pleasant nap and playing a little beach soccer, it’s time to go down to the water. Perhaps you want to take a stroll as the wonderfully smooth waves break over your feet. All this is good and well, until you get a nasty stinging sensation shooting up your leg. You, my poor beach-visiting friend, have fallen victim to the painful sting of the innocent-looking jellyfish, master of disguise and facilitator of beach-day ruining.

When you get to the beach, you should check if jellyfish can be found there. If so, it doesn’t mean your time should be spent wallowing in fear. Rather, it means you should simply use your brain and look out in front of you when walking. If you fall victim to a jellyfish sting (which can happen out of pure bad luck, even if you are cautious), make sure whoever comes to your aid uses caution by wearing gloves. They should remove the tentacles immediately by rinsing them off with hot water for about five minutes. Then you should head to your health care provider’s office to get the sting checked out.

Don’t Let the Currents Cause Events
Even in calm waters, a current can subtly drag you far away from camp on the beach. The most important thing to do while you’re in the water is stay aware. You should always be able to clearly distinguish where your camp is, and the people on it should seem close enough that you could get to them quickly.

However, another type of current poses a far greater threat. A rip current (also referred to as a rip tide) is an overwhelmingly strong force in the water that can drag you out to even deeper parts. There are several key indicators of these currents: brown water that appears full of sand (the rip current will pull up sand from the ocean floor), foam on the water’s surface, garbage and other unnatural materials quickly going from shallow to deep water, or a small stretch of water with ripples surrounded by otherwise calm water. Rip currents are not particularly frequent, but they are something to be weary of. Be cautious and be smart, and you will have yourself a wonderful, safe day at the beach.

– Gabi P. Remz, YMH Summer Writing Intern