Georgetown Parks & Recreation

Water Safety Month: Beach Safety

While the nearest beach may be a couple hundred miles away, it is important to learn how to reduce the risks so your family can enjoy your trip to the coast.

Our featured partner is Galveston Island Beach Patrol.

The mission of GIBP is to protect the 5-7 million people who visit Galveston beaches each year, respond to aquatic emergencies 24/7/365, educate the public about beach safety, and be a good community partner.

Galveston’s beaches are challenging to guard. Heavy crowds, rip current generating jetties, and constantly changing conditions keep guards very busy. GIBP is one of the most proactive and respected lifeguarding agencies in the country.


Practicing sun safety is super important when we’re at the beach. Too much time in the sun can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, skin cancer, and even eye damage.

Here in Texas, the sunny days are longer and the ultraviolet light index is higher. Try out this fun activity from NASA that demonstrates how sunscreen is used to block the sun’s UV rays.

Try this out at home! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram (@GTXParksAndRec), or send a photo of your experiment to for a chance to win $20 off a summer pool pass. 5 winners will be selected. (Entry deadline: June 1. Limit one pool pass discount per household.)

Sunscreen handprints activity (PDF)



Beach Flag Warning System
The Flag Warning System is used to advise beach patrons of the current water conditions and any applicable environmental warnings. The flag colors are part of a national system employed to help beach-goers understand the current conditions in the always dynamic environment of open water.

Galveston Island Beach Patrol employs a notification system that displays the day’s warning flags, along with any specific advisories for the day, on their website. Interested parties may also sign up to receive the notifications via email and/or text message daily.

Safe Day at the Beach Playlist
Galveston Island Beach Patrol offers a variety of videos offering tips that highlight how to stay safe while visiting a beach.

Beach Safety Tips
General beach safety tips that apply to all beaches.

Texas-specific Beach Hazards
These hazards apply to Galveston and other beaches along the Texas coast.