What you need to know about beach warning flags

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Here's what you need to know about beach flag warnings (KTRK)

As you head to the beach this summer season, take note of the beach flag warning system before you go into the water.

The Galveston Island Beach Patrol explains the flag warning system is used to advise beach patrons of the current water conditions and any applicable environmental warnings. The flag colors described below are part of a national system to help people understand the current conditions in the dynamic environment of open water.

On Galveston Island, informational signs and warning flags are posted each day along Seawall Blvd. at 61st St., 53rd St., 37th St., 29th St., and 10th St.

During the summer months, each guarded lifeguard tower flies the appropriate flags for the day. All park board operated parks, such as East Beach, Stewart Beach and the West End Pocket Parks, also display the warning flags when the parks are open.

Galveston Island Beach Patrol employs a notification system that displays the day's warning flags, along with any specific advisories for the day.

Green: Conditions are calm. Swim with care.

Yellow: Indicates caution should be used when entering any body of water. This flag is flown for normal conditions to remind swimmers to stay alert.

Red: Flown when conditions are determined to be out of the ordinary, such as presence of strong wind, strong current or large surf. Adult swimmers should stay in water no more than waist deep and non-swimmers and children should be kept along the surf line.

Purple: Indicates a potential problem with jellyfish, Portuguese man-o-war, stingrays or other marine life that could be a hazard for swimmers. Purple flags will be used in combination with other flags.

Orange: Indicates there is an environmental warning for air and/or water quality. Ask the lifeguard for more details. Orange pennant flags will be used in combination with other flags.

For more information: Flag Warning System

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