HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Colorful flags often grace the shoreline of our beautiful beaches, and they are there to help keep you safe.
Here is a crash course on Hampton Roads lifeguard warning signals so that you can be in the know on your next beach day.
The Yellow Flag
Meaning: Medium Hazard
Currents are present, enough so that weak swimmers are discouraged from entering the water.The Red Flag
Meaning: High Hazard
Conditions such as strong surf and/or currents are present. All swimmers are discouraged from entering the water.
The Red Over Red Flag
Meaning: Water is closed to public use.
No swimmers should be in the water, typically enforced by lifeguards. This could also be an indication of a shark sighting.
The Purple Flag
Meaning: Marine pests present
Jellyfish, stingrays, sea snakes or other marine life are active in nearby water. Purple flag is not an indication of sharks.
The Red Over Yellow Flag
Meaning: Recommended swimming area with lifeguard supervision
Indicates lifeguard presence. They are placed in a designated zone along the shore that is closely supervised.
The Quartered Flag
Meaning: Watercraft area
These flags may be used in pairs, and tell beach goer’s that it’s most prominent use is for surfboards or other non-powered water craft.
The Black Ball Flag
Meaning: Watercraft use prohibited
Surfboards and other non-powered watercraft are prohibited.
The Orange Windsock Flag
Meaning: Offshore winds present, inflatables should not be used
This cone-shaped device is used to indicate the direction of offshore winds and to show that it is unsafe for inflatable objects to be used in the water.