Ocean City, MD  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Ocean City Area Features

Beach Rules & Safety

Ocean City Beach Rules and Regulations

Prohibited by City Ordinance

  • Consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Dogs on the beach or boardwalk (May 1 - Sept. 30)
  • Sleeping on the beach between 10pm - 6am
  • No one is allowed on the beach or in the ocean between 12am and 5am
  • Using a skim board between 10am - 5:30pm
  • Bringing glass containers on the beach
  • Fires or cooking on the beach at any time

Regulated by Beach Patrol

  • Playing loud music
  • Playing ball, flying kites, or other thrown or flying objects
  • Digging holes on the beach that are deeper than knee deep due to cave-in and suffocation risk
  • Surfing
  • Smoking
Surfing Beaches
During the summer months, surfing is not permitted between 10am - 5:30pm, except in the designated surfing areas. There are two areas assigned daily, plus a segment of the Inlet area Mon.- Fri.

Important information:

  • Yellow stands establish surfing beach limits
  • No swimming or wading is permitted in these areas
  • All surfers must wear leashes
  • Signs and flags are used to highlight the area
  • Designated surfing areas rotate two blocks south each day.
  • Inlet surfing area open to surfers Monday- Friday (excluding July 4th)
  • Managed by surf beach facilitators

For additional information on the Beach Patrol or Beach Patrol programs for children, visit www.ococean.com/ocbp or call 410-289-7556.

Hints for Parents
  • Introduce children to the lifeguard at your beach
  • Tell children to go to the lifeguard stand if they are lost
  • Apply sunscreen before going to the beach
  • Encourage the drinking of water throughout the day
  • Children should wear footwear – sand can be very hot and may cause burns
  • Children should wear a hat, sunglasses and t-shirt to limit sun exposure
Safety for Swimmers
  • Only swim where and when lifeguards are on duty (10am - 5:30pm)
  • Always check with the lifeguard regarding beach/ocean conditions
  • Never dive into unknown water or shallow breaking waves
  • Do not ride waves that are breaking in shallow water or on the beach
  • Do not swim near fishing piers, rock jetties or wooden pilings
  • Rely on your swimming ability rather than a flotation device
  • Keep your feet in the sand, until the lifeguard’s in the stand!
Rip Currents
Rip currents are the 3rd leading cause of weather related death and are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They are the most common surf hazard leading to swimmer distress and potential rescue.

What does a rip current look like?

  • A noticeable difference in water color
  • Gaps or flat sections in the waves breaking out in the ocean
  • Foam, or objects, moving steadily out to sea
  • A specific area of water that appears more turbulent than the surrounding water

Escaping a rip current
The most important thing to remember if you are caught in a rip current is DO NOT PANIC. You should attempt to swim parallel to the shore for about 25-50 yards or until out of the rip current, then swim at an angle toward the shore. Many people try to swim against a rip current, but this is DANGEROUS. If in danger, wave for help, relax and tread water!

How do I help someone else?
Don’t become a victim while trying to help someone else! Many people have died in efforts to rescue distressed swimmers. Never enter the water to assist someone having trouble. Instead call for help or get help from a lifeguard.

  • If a lifeguard is not on duty, call 9-1-1 and know your location
  • Yell instructions to the distressed swimmer to swim parallel to the beach and out of the current
  • Use arm actions to indicate the direction to swim
  • If possible, throw the rip current victim something that floats

 

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