As Alabamians venture into the summer months, many residents from West and Central Alabama travel to the Gulf Coast. It is recommended to understand beach safety and the flag warning system before you go.

According to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, here is the flag warning system.

Purple Flag

Marine pests are present. Exercise caution.

Yellow Flag

Medium Hazard

Moderate surf and/or currents.

Red Flag

High Hazard

High surf and/or currents.

Double Red Flags

It is illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico within the corporate limits of either city when two red flags are displayed.

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The beach safety and warning systems are set up to help visitors stay safe. “In the US, an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown per year. That is an average of 10 fatal drownings per day,” said the Stop Drowning Now Organization.

Warning flags are posted at the public beaches so be on the lookout for them. Also, you can check the conditions before you even head to the beach. There are three different methods, online, by text, or by phone call. The information below is provided by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.


Click here to get the latest information about the rip current risk from the National Weather Service.

Click here for the Beach Safety section of the City of Gulf Shores.

Click here for the Beach Safety section of the City of Orange Beach.


“Sign up to receive daily beach conditions and warning flag status by texting ALBEACHES to 888777. At the end of your vacation, opt out of the text alerts by texting STOP.”


For beach conditions in Gulf Shores, call 251-968-SURF (7873).
For beach conditions in Orange Beach, call 251-981-SURF (7873).

(Source) Click here for more information from the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. Click here for more details from the Stop Drowning Now Organization.

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