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Flag Warning System - Know Your Flags!

When enjoying a perfect day at the beach in Destin, Florida, it's important to be aware of the following information for your safety:

The beaches are patrolled by county lifeguards who are highly trained in open-water rescue and are also medically trained as first responders. While the lifeguards are always ready to assist in an emergency situation, there are several precautions you can take to ensure a safe beach day. It's essential to know the flag warning systems. The absence of flags does not assure safe waters. Swim at your own risk.

Text “BEACH” to 44144 for water condition updates for Destin beaches OR visit the Destin Beach Safety website 

Green Flag - beach safety, beach flags, Destin, 30A
Green Flag

Low hazard, calm conditions. Swimmers should exercise caution.

Yellow Flag - beach safety, beach flags, Destin, 30A
Yellow Flag

Medium Hazard, moderate surf and/or currents. Exercise caution.

Red Flag - beach safety, beach flags, Destin, 30A
Red Flag

High hazard, high surf and/or currents. Knee deep is too deep.

Double Red Flag - beach safety, beach flags, Destin, 30A
Double Red Flag

The water is closed to the public. Attempting to enter water can result in serious harm or death, as well as arrest and possible fines. 


Purple Flag - beach safety, beach flags, Destin, 30A
Purple Flag

Dangerous marine life present — jellyfish, stingray, man-o-war, dangerous fish

Rip Currents

A rip current is a strong, narrow current moving away from the beach. It's often hard to spot but you can look for a break in the wave pattern. If you get caught in a rip current, don't try to swim against it – that's a natural reaction, but it's not the best choice. Rip currents usually subside less than 100 yards offshore, so remember—Don’t panic, you will not be dragged out to sea! 

How to Escape

  • Swim parallel to the shore to get out of the current. 
  • If you can't break free, try floating or treading water calmly until it stops, then swim out and back to shore. 

How to spot a rip current

  • Look for a narrow gap of darker, calmer between breaking waves or whitewater.
  • A channel of churning, choppy water
  • A line of foam, seaweed or debris moving out to sea

How to help someone caught in a rip current

  • Get help from a lifeguard
  • If no lifeguard is present, call 911 and instruct the person to follow the shoreline to escape the rip current
  • If possible, throw the person a flotation device
  • You should not try to save someone in a rip current yourself unless you have proper training and equipment. Many people have died trying to rescue rip current victims.


Please note the following rules and regulations for the Destin area beaches:

1. Sea Turtles Are Protected: All sea turtles are protected by the US Endangered Species Act and Florida State Law. It is illegal to kill or harm sea turtles, or to disturb their nests. Violators may face heavy fines and imprisonment. Here is how to help. (1) Prevent all lights from illuminating the beach. (2) Look but don’t touch. Disturbing is a federal and state violation. (3) Please fill holes in the sand. (4) Remove any litter.

2. No Glass Bottles: Glass bottles are prohibited on all Destin area beaches. Anyone found with glass bottles on the beach may face fines: first-time offenders face a $50 fine, second-time offenders face a $150 fine, and third-time offenders face a $300 fine, according to a City of Destin Ordinance.

3. Don’t Walk on Sand Dunes: Please refrain from walking on the sand dunes. Human or vehicle traffic, can destroy the fragil vegetation that holds the dunes in place. Sand dunes act as barriers to winds and waves, providing protection to homes and businesses. During storms and hurricanes, dune sands help reduce the energy of storm waves. To ensure natural protection, sand dunes and sea oats must be preserved. Instead of walking on the dunes, please use public beach walkovers.

4. Leave No Trace: No littering on the beach! Trash receptacles are provided at all public beach accesses. To maintain our beautiful beaches, we ask that take anything you bring with you to the beach. Items left on the beach overnight will be removed by City of Destin staff.

5. Camping: Overnight camping is not allowed.

6. Fireworks: Fireworks are prohibited on Destin beaches.

7. No Pets: For safety reasons, dogs are not allowed on the beaches in Okaloosa County (except seeing eye & hearing ear dogs). Instead, please visit the City of Destin's Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park located at 4100 Indian Bayou Trail.

8. Alcohol: Alcohol is allowed on the beach but not in the state parks.


For Your Safety

  • Know how to swim.
  • Never swim alone.
  • If in doubt, don’t go out.
  • Swim near a lifeguard.

Current Beach Conditions: