4 tips to help keep you safe in Galveston as Barry moves through Gulf

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - Tropical Storm Barry may not be headed to Houston, but Galveston will still see some effects of the storm.

Here is what you need to know to stay safe at the beach this weekend:

WHAT TO EXPECT IN GALVESTON

Galveston Beach Patrol is warning people about strong winds and dangerous rip currents this weekend, as Tropical Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico hits Louisiana.

“We’re still prepared for sort of a worst-case scenario here which would involve taking equipment off the beach and high tide,” said Chief Peter Davis, with the Galveston Beach Patrol.

In high winds, crews would have to remove the more than 1,000 trash cans, 32 lifeguard stands and some signs from the beaches.

“We remove floats, anything inflatable, keep onshore as best we can,” said Davis.

The chief also said be aware of dangerous rip currents that pull you away from shore quickly.

“(Swimmers) try to swim against that current to shore, panic, choke on water and then they go under because of that,” said Davis.

PAY ATTENTION TO FLAG SYSTEM

Davis said pay attention to the flag system they have posted on all lifeguard stands. The colors green, yellow and red. It’s red when it’s especially unsafe for swimmers.

LEARN MORE HERE: https://www.galvestonislandbeachpatrol.com/flag-warning-system/

WHERE TO SWIM

Beach patrol said people should swim near a lifeguard, manned daily, and swim away from structures.

“For us, the issue with rip currents is to make sure people swim near a lifeguard and stay really far away from any kind of structures sticking out of the water like a jetty, or pier, something like that because you have really strong rip currents always by those when we have a wave or wind event.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT

Davis advised swimmers to stay calm and don’t fight it. Instead, they should swim out of the current, then to shore.

If they can’t escape it, float or tread water.

“What you want to do is float and relax and do your best to keep your head above water,” said Davis.

LEARN MORE HERE: https://www.galvestonislandbeachpatrol.com/rip-currents/

IF YOU SEE SOMEONE STRUGGLING

“If you ever see anyone in a rip current, you don’t want to go in after them,” said Davis.

Instead, immediately call for help and step into action using one of the 20 red rescue boxes along the sea wall.

“We have a rescue box which is basically a float ring buoy with a rope attached to it, grab that, throw it out to them and pull them back on the rocks,” said Davis.

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