How to keep safe in the tidepools?

Be prepared.

  • Wear boots or sturdy footwear that can get wet. (Shoes should fit snuggly on your foot so you don’t slip and should cover all your foot so you don’t get scratched up.) Bare feet and flip-flops are dangerous in tidepools.
  • Check the tide tables. Take care to keep track of the tide levels to make sure you can get back to shore.

Keep your hands free.

  • You’ll naturally reach out if you start to slip.
  • On very uneven rocks, use your feet and your hands to keep three points of contact with the surface.
  • Cameras, phones, and such are safest in a zippered front pocket or in bag slung over the head and one shoulder.
  • Don’t put anything in your back pocket you wouldn’t want to fall on.

Use your head.

  • Think about where to put your foot with each step.
  • Sand and bare rock are always your first choices; someplace you can’t slip from is a good second choice when you avoid stepping on tidepool inhabitants.
  • Be alert to your location and your surroundings.
  • Keep track of how you’ll get back to shore; listen and watch for sneaker waves and the rising tide.

Beach safety videos

View a few short public service announcements on sneaker waves, rip-tides, and drift-logs: