SAFETY TIPS to stay safe on our QLD beaches

In an emergency, call TRIPLE ZERO (000)

Flags & Signs

Queensland’s iconic beaches are famous all over the world, attracting millions of local residents, interstate tourists and international guests alike. However, not all beachgoers are aware of the potential dangers they may encounter.

The size and strength of the surf, unpredictable rips and gutters, and dangerous marine creatures can all pose a risk for swimmers and beachgoers. With that in mind, it is important to know how to protect yourself in the water and understand the warning signs and flags, to ensure you remember your trip to the beach for all the right reasons.

Beach Signs

There are a number of signs that lifesavers and lifeguards use to communicate with beachgoers and warn them of any potential hazards. It is important that when you arrive at the beach you check the signs displayed.

Warning No Lifesaving Service
Swimming Not Advised
Unexpected Large Waves
Marine Stingers

Remember the F-L-A-G-S and stay safe!

Find the flags
Always swim between the red and yellow flags. They represent a safer place to swim than unpatrolled areas.

Look at the safety signs
Safety signs help identify potential beach dangers.

Ask a lifeguard for safety advice
Conditions can change quickly. Talk to a lifesaver before entering the water.

Go swimming with a friend
Look out for each other and get help if needed.

Stick your hand up for help
Stay calm if you get into trouble. Raise your arm for help.

Photo of lifeguard on beach with flag

Beach Safety Flags

Red and yellow flag:
Always swim between the flags.

Red flag:
No swimming.

Yellow flag:
Caution required. Potential hazards.

Black and white flag:
Surfcraft riding area boundary.


Photo of two lifeguards on beach

To ensure you enjoy your time at the beach, make sure you follow these top tips;

  • Always swim at patrolled beaches and only between the red and yellow flags
  • Observe the safety signs
  • If you’re unsure about the conditions, ask a lifesaver or lifeguard before entering the water
  • Swim with a friend where possible
  • If you find yourself in trouble, put your hand up for help
  • Always supervise young children in and around the water.

Aquatic Hazards

The marine environment is a complex, ever-changing ecosystem. Within it, everything from marine animals to natural phenomenon, poor behavioural choices and even the sun itself can pose a risk to swimmers. But everyone can enjoy our beaches safely by applying a little extra knowledge, a few simple tips and some common sense.

National Aquatic and Recreational Signage Style

Signage is important for three reasons:

*It informs users of dangers, safety issues and other relevant information.

* It offers some protection to the land manager and venue operator from litigation because of the duty of care

owed by the land manager to warn users of dangers, prohibitions and other safety information.

* It provides an economical alternative to that of employing a person to stand at every access track into the

reserve to inform people of dangers.

Over many years, land managers and venue operators have introduced signage that has taken many different shapes, sizes, and colours. Symbols, wording, and sign location have differed greatly.


Signs that you will find across Queensland include beach access signs, individual hazard aquatic hazards signs and emergency marker signs.

Our Clubs & Beaches

Explore Queensland’s world-famous beaches and visit the life saving clubs that patrol them to keep the public safe.


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