Lifeguard Service is important at any beach. Because Aliso Beach has an extreme sloping beach and the influences of a partially submerged reef on the south end and a river feeding sand to the south, the waves detonate very close to shore in very shallow water. Even a 3 foot day packs a punch at this beach. Children and unsuspecting adults may quickly be surprised by a wave if they are not aware of their surroundings. It happens quickly! With a pounding shore break, the area is prone to rip tides and dangerous conditions. Never turn your back on the waves at Aliso Beach. There are flat or calm days of waves at Aliso Beach, and on these days, you will find that it is suitable for children. On days where storms in the Southern Hemisphere or the tropical waters off the tip of Cabo San Lucas are churning up waves, Aliso Beach may be too dangerous for kids and adults with below average swimming abilities and lack of experience. It is best to consult the lifeguards for wave conditions and advice. Always access the water close to the lifeguard stand. As is the case with Aliso Beach, there is a lifeguard tower in the middle of the beach. You can’t miss it.
While they are no episode of Bay Watch, their attire is red, like you would expect. You may see them at the tower or in white trucks that come and go throughout the day. Some of the pictures were taken on a day where 2 foot waves were causing concern for the safety of swimmers because of the way the waves were pounding right on the shore. As a higher up in the lifeguard status told me that I could take a picture of the truck, he did not want to be in the picture for fear of sending the message that he was not focused on his work. Isn’t that the type of lifeguard that you would want on a beach? As we finished the conversation, a 3 foot set broke and he ran down to the water’s edge to make sure a couple of swimmers that had been crunched by the wave were okay. Nobody was hurt but the quick reaction by the lifeguard shows that he has seen it all before. The ocean can be an unforgiving place and these lifeguards take the safety of visitors to Aliso Beach very seriously. Most days nobody gets hurt. That can change at the blink of an eye and they are in charge of seeing possible issues before something happens and springing in to action to prevent them.
Run by the County of Orange, the lifeguard service at Aliso Beach is exceptional. They do a great job of talking with people on the beach to warn them of the dangers and to be careful. There are lifeguard trucks that patrol the beach and help keep an eye on everything. They keep people using the beach safe. If you are not accustomed to waves crashing so close to shore, you may consider avoiding the temptation to be in the water on that particular day. Aliso Beach is best suited for advanced swimmers and wave riders that have the experience to deal with the conditions that come with risks of bodily harm. Ask your lifeguard if it is appropriate for you or your children to be in the water on a particular day. They will tell you the truth. If you must dip your toes in the ocean on a dangerous day, do not turn your back on the ocean and make sure not to leave your children unattended to. One wave at Aliso could change your family dynamic in a matter of seconds! The lifeguards do an incredible job at this beach as they do in all of Laguna Beach, but it is always a good idea to help them get to the people that really need their help by taking precautions and controlling what we can control. The ocean has a way of stripping you of control so we all have to do our part to avoid taxing the lifeguards to the point of having them in a position where they can’t get to everyone that needs help all at the same time!
In addition to the signs that talk about the dangers that exist with the water at Aliso Beach, there are 3 flags that will help visitors understand just what they are in for. You will see the flag raised above the lifeguard tower every day during their service. When entering the water at Aliso you should always use extreme caution, but the colors of the flags tell you just how important your being careful is on any given day.
The Flag Colors As Posted By Lifeguards Service And Their Meanings Are As Follows:
Green Flag: For the most part it means that swimming is safe. It does not mean that there isn’t danger as it is still the ocean where unpredictable things can happen. Keep in mind that with a green flag, you still must be aware of your surroundings, paying attention and aware of the possible dangers. A small wave smacking the shoreline can do a lot of damage. For the inexperienced and children, the best it can get at Aliso Beach is flat but the slope of the beach will still result in tidal push and miniature waves that pack a punch breaking right on the sand.
Yellow Flag: The yellow flag is up to inform those entering the water that there is an elevated level of danger. It tells you that there is a more dangerous set of conditions in the water that day and that your advised to use caution. Yellow flag days occur when there is a decent amount of swell in the water and the surf is above average. These are days that the waves can be real butt kickers and you want to be very careful.
Red Flag: There aren’t many days like this, but when there are, it is recommended that you stay out of the water if you are anything but an expert swimmer or rider. These are the days where carelessness will get you hurt. This designation is an advisement by the lifeguards for the inexperienced to stay out of the water. On days like this, lifeguards have their hands full with heavy waves and rip currents putting people at risk. If you are not knowledgeable and experienced in these types of conditions, lifeguards would recommend staying out of the water.
Always consult your lifeguards before entering the water to get an idea of how safe the water is when coming to Aliso. This best practice could save a life and/or a serious injury. The lifeguards at Aliso Beach do a great job but can’t be everywhere at one time. If you are not experienced, please consider staying away from the water so that lifeguards can get to everyone that needs help in extremely dangerous conditions.
Thank you Aliso Beach Lifeguards for all that you do! Your efforts are noticed and appreciated!