Please engage in summer water activities in water areas with open beaches or lifeguards, instead of going into unfamiliar coastal areas, and obey instructions from the lifeguards. It is extremely dangerous to rashly enter into unfamiliar water areas. You should avoid approaching areas with signs indicating “No Swimming” or “Danger: Deep Water”. You must be aware of poisonous fish and jellyfish, broken glass buried in the sand, ring-pulls from pop-top cans abandoned toothpicks and chicken bones after BBQ activities, lest your feet be stung or cut. You should know your health condition well and warm up your body before entering the water, to avoid muscle cramps in the water. It is the best not to swim alone.At least two people can be partners and take care of each other. It will be even better if you wear a life jacket. More reminders:“Safety first for any water activity”, “Pay attention to beach water quality to ensure one's health”, and “Emergency Procedures during Water Activities”. The EPA cares for your safety during water activities.
Reminder 1: Safety first for any water activity
  • You should swim in coastal areas with lifeguards on duty, obey the instructions from the guards and swim within the security line. You should avoid approaching areas with warning signs such as“No Swimming” or “Danger: Deep Water”.
  • Do not rely on inflatable float devices (such as life saver, floating bed, etc.), to avoid drowning due to air leaks.
  • Because of currents and waves, swimming in the sea is different from swimming in a pool. Therefore, redoubled endurance and physical strength will be needed in the sea to reach the same distance in a pool. Do not overestimate your own swimming ability, to prevent any misfortune.
  • Children are strictly prohibited to engage in water activities alone in case of any accident.
  • Do not swim along any waterway, harbor district, torrent area, reef area or dock area.
  • Do not swim two days before and after a typhoon, when ocean waves are high, after a beach is closed or after sunset (night time).
  • In a wavy area, when big waves are approaching, you should submerge into the water to avoid the waves or rapidly swim back to shore with the front crawl style along with the wave thrust, instead of confronting the waves directly.
  • If hurt and bleeding in the sea, you should go back to the shore immediately, because sharks are especially sensitive to the smell of blood and you might be attacked. If attacked by a jellyfish or sea snake, please go back to the shore immediately for medical treatment.
  • If there are sudden rumbling noises from the distant sea level which get louder, it may be a sign of a tsunami. Everyone (either in the sea or on the shore) should move to high ground immediately.
  • If swept to the open sea by currents, you should send out distress signals to the shore, keep your strength and body temperature, and look around for drifts that can help you float while waiting for rescue.
  • If an earthquake has happened along the Pacific Coast, pay attention to weather reports for information about tsunamis, go to higher ground and avoid the coast and ocean until further notice.
Reminder 2: Pay attention to beach water quality to ensure one's health
  • Do not go into the water within three days after heavy rains: After a typhoon or heavy rains, pollutants are washed into sea and beach water quality is generally poor. Please avoid engaging in water activities as much as possible at such times.
  • Do not go into the water if you are not in good condition: The major hazards in beach water are pathogenic microorganisms that invade the human body through skin wounds, mucosa contact, and the mouth. You should be aware of these risks. There are various kinds of pathogenic microorganisms, so it is recommended that patients with infectious diseases or wounds on the body surface do not go to public beaches to swim or engage in other water activities to prevent spread of contagious diseases, such as hepatitis, ringworm skin rash, severe trachoma, acute conjunctivitis (eye syndrome), intestinal infectious diseases, venereal diseases, skin diseases, and eye diseases. People with these diseases may take pathogens into the water or pollute handles, water taps, etc. and infect others. Therefore, it is suggested that these people do not go into the water.
  • Avoid harm from UV: Long-time exposure to the sun in the sunny summer may lead to acute dermatitis and sun burns. Therefore, in order to avoid sunburn and heat stroke, it is very important to apply sunscreen, use an umbrella and drink plenty of water.
  • Do not swim 30 minutes before and after eating: Swimming on an full stomach can not only affect your appetite but also cause incidents, like dizziness and fatigue, during swimming. Swimming on a full stomach will also affect digestion and result in stomach cramps or even vomiting and abdominal pain.
  • Never swim after strenuous exercise: Swimming right after strenuous exercise will increase the burden of your heart due to sudden constriction of blood vessels. A sudden drop of body temperature will lead to weakened immunity and cause a cold, pharyngitis, etc.
Reminder 3: Emergency Procedures during Water Activities
  • For relieving cramps of the muscles of the hand, make a fist and unclench rapidly Keep repeating till the cramps disappear.
  • For relieving cramps of the muscles of the calf and feat: (while floating on your back) Breathe in first to float on the water. Use the side of the hand opposite from your cramp to grab the cramped toe and pull it hard towards your body. At the same time, use the palm of the same side to press on the knee of the cramped side and help the leg straighten.
  • For improving cramps of the muscle of the leg: (while floating on back) Breathe in first to float on the water. Bend your legs and grab the back of feet with your hands. If the cramps are in the calf, straighten your leg, grab your toes with one or both hands and pull them towards the body.
  • Drowning: If you can’t be saved right away, look for anything drifting to grasp, or make one with your clothes. If none, try to float on the water as long as possible (refer to jellyfish floating / drown proofing ), keep your strength and wait for rescue. The longer you survive, the greater the chance of being rescued.
Jellyfish Stings:
  • Symptoms and danger: The symptoms after jellyfish stings are an obvious striped rash and itchy and painful wound. There will be skin pigmentation, which will last for about several weeks. Serious symptoms include a systemic reaction. Although to date no one has died from jellyfish stings in Taiwan, there have been such cases in other countries. Therefore, you should be very careful when engaging in water activities in summer.
  • Emergency procedures: Immediately wash your wounds with saline solution after jellyfish stings. You may use sea water first for the sake of convenience, or edible vinegar or diluted acetic acid to wash out toxins. Go to a hospital as soon as possible after some simple bandaging. If the injured area is too large, or there are symptoms such as acute swelling, blistering and poisoning, get emergency treatment immediately.
  • Treatment and care: Patients with slight symptoms should take oral antihistamines with topical steroid cream for external application. The treatment takes about one to two weeks. For those with a systemic reaction or severe itching, steroid injections and intravenous injections will be necessary. The skin area, stung by the jellyfish will still itch even though it is recovering. The patient, in addition to receiving treatment, should avoid scratching the wounds to prevent secondary bacterial infection or even severe cellulitis.