Whenever our family visits the beach, we would take a peaceful stroll down the sandy seashore watching the sunset. It was pretty exciting, and it made me wonder what lies beyond the ocean waves. I am foolishly adventurous, so imagine my parents’ surprise when I told them I wanted to go night swimming in the deep, dark ocean! Many people are as curious as me, but is it safe to go night swimming at the beach?
It is not safe to go night swimming at the beach. Swimmers can find themselves in life-threatening situations caused by rip currents, sea animals, and sharp rocks. But if you still want to take a night swim at the beach, ensure that you stay close to the shore and always have someone close to you.
To avoid any dangers posed by the creatures and conditions of the night at the beach, read on to gain an outline of the threat you can experience and how you can keep safe at the ocean. So, swimmers, pay attention! Curiosity can be injurious.
Night Swimming At The Beach: Is It Safe?
When you are a daredevil like me, you know how frustrating it can be if you do not get your adrenaline fix, specifically if it is something as magical as swimming in the moonlight and among the fascinating sea creatures. Alas, everything comes at a cost, whether you expect it or not.
The risks of night swimming at the beach are far greater than the benefits (if there are any!). That being so, I have set up a few pointers on how to stay safe and what dangers you have to avoid to stay out of harm’s way.
6 Dangers Of Night Swimming In The Ocean?
The ocean can be a frightening place for us. We never know what lurks beyond the waves or how quick it will turn from peaceful to disastrous. I have listed six common dangers of night swimming at the beach:
Sharks come closer to shore at night; thus, they are more active throughout the night. It is mainly because they are searching for prey, so there might be a possibility that a shark mistakes you for food.
They travel with the waves and prefer warmer water temperatures; therefore, they will move toward the seaside if the temperatures in that part of the water increase.
Like sharks, stingrays are nocturnal, meaning they come out to feed at night. Stingrays move along the ocean floor, and although they are not as aggressive, they might turn hostile if you accidentally step on them or threaten them.
They respond by thrusting their tail into your foot or leg. Stingrays will immediately blast a toxin into your body, causing nausea, inflammation, severe pain, weakness, and fainting. Some people have difficulty breathing. Few people have died from a stingray attack.
Although jellyfish are less active during the night, if they get hit with hunger or food stimulus, they return to their high daytime activity levels. A jellyfish’s stingers hold venom that they release to kill prey.
When they sting you, you will undergo immediate pain and notice irritating marks on your skin. Jellyfish stings differ in severity. Few jellyfish can cause systemic illness or death.
4. Rip currents
Rip currents advance at a speed of about eight feet per second. It is a highly aggressive and fast, narrow channel of water that can easily overpower you and drag you into the ocean.
Rip currents are unpredictable, and though it is easier said than done, we are advised to stay as calm as possible when trapped in this situation.
5. Harmful algae blooms
Harmful algae blooms are hazardous to humans and animals. The toxins they release by flourishing a cluster of microscopic algae may induce abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, or in some cases, death.
They are present in oceans and lakes across the globe, although research shows that they are becoming much more prevalent in waters in the USA.
6. Surf break
Shore breaks or surf breaks occur when an obstruction such as a rock or coral reef causes a wave to collapse in the shallow water. The shape and depth of the seabed affect the type of break. If you are on a breaking wave and thrown into shallow water, the situation can be tragic.
How To Keep Safe When Night Swimming At The Beach?
We must always stay vigilant of the danger around us to avoid injurious or deathly situations. Night swimming at the beach is never entirely safe despite that; if you still want to experience the ocean at its hours of darkness, follow these safety tips:
- Wear swim shoes
- Do not go night swimming alone
- Wear reflective clothing or keep glowsticks near to be seen
- Look into the tide schedule
- Swim during low tide
- Do not wear shiny objects like jewelry
- Survey the area for rip currents
- Keep away from coral reefs and fishing docks
- Survey the coastline
- Swim within the moonlight
- Wear protective gear
- Swim underneath a strong tide
- Glide along the ocean floor instead of stepping on it
- Ensure you feel energized and confident in your swimming
If you are not a practiced swimmer or familiar with the beach, do not swim at night. Always check for reports of storms and never lose sight of the shoreline.
What Is The Safest Time Of Day To Swim In The Ocean?
Lack of visibility poses a threat, so evidently, daytime is the safest to swim in the ocean. Night-time swimming can be somewhat safe during a full moon. The moon will guide you with its light and enhance your vision.
The dangers of night swimming at the beach are why some beaches do not allow it. If you go night swimming at these beaches, you are trespassing and may face hefty penalties.
Night swimming at the beach presents higher threats than daytime swimming. Thus, night swimming at the beach is not safe. Take great caution and be aware of your surroundings if you dare swim at the beach at night.
Sea animals and toxic algae do not shy away. Wear reflective and protective gear, do not go alone, and ensure the moon provides sufficient light, so you can see clearly in case you suffer any.