The Kingdom of Tonga, has 176 islands with much more shores truely Tonga boasts some of the worlds most beautiful and famous beaches. Every year, visitors from throughout the globe together with traffic from all around Australia and also New Zealand travel to Tonga with all our shores and laid back soft coral reefs and privacy being the major attraction. Whether you are swimming in your resorts beach Beach or gone for your very own private beach on a secluded island, there are lots of risks to know about. From rips to bluebottles and everything in between. Regardless of where on earth you may travel, it is advisable you familiarize yourself with local Tongan requirements and habits and know about the hazards of island lifestyle.
In Australia and New Zealand Surf Life Guards are a common sight. However, it is very rare to have such a luxury in Tonga. You are literally on your own if something happens, so you need to think before you act without due care. Swimming or doing organised activities gives you a safety in numbers advantage, were you all help keep each other safe and this may help to save a life. However, you can’t rely on this. The safest approach is swimming at your resort were there are likely staff and others on patrol to keep you safe.
Below are some recommended safety tips for Tongan beaches.
- Try not to swim at an unpatrolled beach if you are not familiar with our beaches.
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags, if any, these areas are patrolled by lifesavers.
- Never swim at night, dawn or dusk this is when sharks feed and can create difficulties if you get in trouble.
- Don’t ever swim alone.
- Never let your children swim alone and unsupervised.
- Never swim if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Only ever swim in appropriate swimming attire. This excludes full clothing, including tee-shirts, denim shorts or jeans and footwear. Clothing becomes heavy when wet and may drag you down under the water.
- Never swim if the beach is closed, this could mean anything from rough condition to dangerous marine life.
- Stay close to shore and in between the flags if you are not a strong swimmer or have children to supervise.
- If you ever find yourself in trouble while in the water, stay calm, try to float and raise your arm high so that the surf lifesavers can see you.
- Never try to swim against a rip, this will only cause exhaustion. Remain calm, raise your hand and attract attention. If you need to, only swim parallel to the rip current and waves can help bring you back to shore. Dive under any breaking waves (like the surfers do when they paddle out).
- If you are ever unsure, ask one of our fabulous surf lifesavers, they are there to help you and offer advice.
- Don’t forget that the sun poses a threat as well. Take a water bottle and keep hydrated and regularly apply 30+spf sunscreen all over your body, wear a hat and tee-shirt.