Is It Safe To Swim in Perdido Key? (Safety Measures to Know)

It is perfectly safe to swim in Perdido Key as long as you adhere to the beach`s safety rules.

Perdido Key’s beaches are not as crowded as other party beaches in Florida, which makes swimming more tranquil.

Under calm conditions, the emerald blue waters make for an enjoyable swim. With an average water depth of 7 ft/2 m, experienced swimmers can venture much deeper into the Gulf since Perdido’s coastal strip has a fairly long slope.

Also, the waves in the area are not big enough for surfing, which makes it perfect for swimming escapades.

Safety Measures in Perdido Key

Both public and private beaches in Peridido Key have undertaken measures to ensure the safety of all swimmers who frequent the area.

Safety Measures in Perdido Key
Safety measures Perdido Key

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Designated Swimming Zones

These beach zones are usually marked with a red over the yellow flag. If you are a beginner or have children, these are the safest swimming zones since they are generally closely monitored by lifeguards around the clock.

Thankfully, even in high season (May-September), these zones don’t get overcrowded, so there is plenty of room for everyone.

Installation of Beach Safety Flags

Some beaches in Perdido Key lack lifeguards, and installing beach flags was necessary to keep the public safe. Below is a table outlining the type of beach safety flag, the hazard level, and the corresponding action to be taken.

Take a look:

Color codeHazard level, water conditions and safety recommendation
Green FlagThe risk level is low, and the current conditions are calm. Please exercise caution while swimming as you normally would.
Yellow FlagThe hazard level is moderate, with moderate surf and currents. It is advisable to swim with additional caution given the current conditions.
Red flagThe hazard level is high due to the presence of high surf and dangerous currents. For your safety, swimming is strictly prohibited under these conditions.
Double Red FlagA hurricane warning is in effect, which means there are high currents and strong offshore winds. It is crucial to exercise caution both in the water and on the shoreline during this time.
Purple FlagThere is a presence of dangerous marine life in the area. It is important to exercise caution both in the water and on the shoreline to mitigate any potential risks.

Besides the beach flags, you will find other warning signals at various points along Perdido Key’s 16-mile coastline.

It may range from warning about sharp corals, slippery rocks to jellyfish stings and lack of a lifeguard present. Always pay attention to all these signals and respond accordingly. 

Alcohol is Prohibited

Perdido Key runs in 2 states, Florida and Alabama, where possession and consumption of alcohol on public beaches is strictly forbidden.

This is to deter drowning cases and false alarms experienced in private party beaches in Florida. While coolers are welcome on the beach, wrappings and bottles should not be left behind as you head.

Storm Advisories

Hurricanes and tropical storms are common in the Gulf of Mexico, where Perdido Key lies. With the help of the meteorological department, local swim guides provide daily updates on the water conditions.

Before heading to the beach, check with the day’s advisory to avoid being caught in the deep with high tides or strong winds.

Safety Concerns when Swimming in Perdido Key

While it is generally safe to swim in Perdido Key, ocean conditions can be erratic.

Safety Concerns when Swimming in Perdido Key
Perdido Key safety concerns when swimming

Here are three major safety issues you need to be aware of when you set off swimming in Perdido Key.

Occurrence of Rip Currents

Rip currents are arguably the biggest threat to swimmers in Perdido Key and most of the party beaches in Florida.

While swimming parallel to the shore usually gets you out of a rip current, your safety is not usually guaranteed if you panic.

Installing beach flags and signage on famous beaches has significantly reduced the unfortunate incidents of swimmers being drawn into the sea.

It is best to steer clear of the gulf waters if you see any red flag hoisted or any other warning of high currents.

Limited Number of Lifeguards

Currently, only Johnson Beach boasts of a lifeguard station in Perdido Key. As such, this calls for individuals to exercise extra caution when venturing into the sea, as there is no supervision.

To remedy this situation, Escambia County has sustained efforts to add to the number of lifeguard stations and safety patrols at Johnson and other Perdido Key public beaches.  

Presence of Vibrio Vulnificus

The warm and brackish seawater of Perdido Key provides the perfect habitat for Vibro vulnificus to thrive.

While these bacterial infections are not as common as rip currents, avoid swimming with open wounds or scrapes, especially if you are immunocompromised.

In case of in-water injuries from rocks or shells, wash the contact area thoroughly with fresh water and soap before seeking medical help. Often, a waterproof bandage can minimize exposure to flesh-eating bacteria, but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

Best Months to go Swimming in Perdido Key?

Best Months to go Swimming in Perdido Key
May through to August is perfect for swimming in Perdido Key

If you want to explore the pristine beaches and sand dunes of Perdido Key, May through to August is the best time to head southeast.

The weather is ideal, and there are fewer chances of tropical storms or hurricanes occurring. Afternoon conditions work best and help to prevent marine animal encounters at dusk or dawn.

Read nextThings to Do Perdido Key

Final Word

Perdido Key is generally safe for swimming. That notwithstanding, you should always exercise caution, whether in the water or strolling the white sandy shoreline.

Besides, always pay attention to the beach flags and lifeguards’ instructions, no matter your swimming and surfing expertise level.

Remember to carry a high-SPF sunscreen since Perdido Key’s UV Index is relatively high. Happy swimming!

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