Lifeguard Operations

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Yellow, Red, Green and Blue lifeguard stands on Siesta Key Beach.

Sarasota County Lifeguards have some of the safest beaches in the State of Florida. The Lifeguard staff training includes passing biannual qualification testing and becoming First Responder Certified. Skilled professionals are now responsible for public safety at six beaches spread over a 36-mile area of the Gulf Coast. From north to south these beaches are: Lido, Siesta, Nokomis, North Jetty, Venice and Manasota.

Beach Flags

Beach Warning flags with description of each color.

Gulf water temperatures continue to rise as summer gets into full swing. Remember to use sunscreen liberally and to reapply it as needed throughout the day. To avoid dehydration be certain to have plenty of water/sports drinks available. Beach flags provide information on swimming conditions:

  • green - good swimming conditions
  • yellow - use caution
  • red - dangerous swimming conditions
  • double red - beach is closed to swimming
  • purple -hazardous marine life
Check beach conditioarlinns prior to heading to the beach by visiting If you have questions about beach
conditions speak with one of our lifeguards. Warmer water can also
mean stingrays so remember to use the "stingray shuffle" when
moving through the water.

Lost items on the beach waiting to be claimed

For information about lost items contact Sarasota County Lifeguard Operations at 941-861-5000.


Beach Swimming Safety Tips

  • Always try to swim in lifeguard-protected areas.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Check the swimming condition flag before entering the water.
  • Don't overestimate your swimming ability.
  • Never depend on a flotation device for safety.
  • Swim parallel to the shore.
  • Stay off and away from swim buoys.
  • Keep a safe distance from rock jetties.
  • Never dive headfirst when entering water.
  • Duck under breaking waves.
  • If you are in trouble, call and wave for help.


Pool & Water Safety Tips

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable deaths in children ages 1 - 4 years old.

  •  Know where children are at all times.
  • Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house.
  • Never allow children to be alone near a pool, pond or any water source.
  • Learn to swim, and teach children to swim.
  • Always have someone responsible as a "designated water watcher" around the water source.
  • Never swim alone, or while under the influence of alcohol or medications.
  • Learn CPR.

Rip CurrentsRip currents, how to break the grip of the  rip

Rip currents are one of the most dangerous water conditions that can develop along our coastline.

Components of Rip Currents
  1. Head - rip spreads out and weakens
  2. Neck - actual rip or river of water
  3. Feeders - supply source for the rip

How to Escape from Rip Currents

Swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current or float until the current dissipates then swim diagonally to shore.

If in doubt, stay out!

Rip Currents

Watch this video on Rip Currents