Stay informed and be safe on our beaches

June 14, 2019
Cotton Bayou Beach aerial from Memorial Day 2019 for beach warning flag information

With the summer vacation season reaching its peak over the next few weeks, Orange Beach Surf Rescue wants to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to be safe when visiting and spending time at the beach.

It’s already been a very busy few weeks for Orange Beach lifeguards. Lifeguards are there for the public’s protection and in order to help with that effort Surf Rescue asks all rental property owners and managers and others in our ever-burgeoning hospitality industry to share information and continually remind visitors about beach safety during their stay here.

Orange Beach Surf Rescue operates as an Advanced United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) agency providing water safety and medical aid. Lifeguards cover almost 8 miles of coastline ranging from Flora-Bama to the Gulf State Park Pavilion. Lifeguards operate from March until September every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Five towers are stationed at public beaches:

  • Tower 1 at Shell Beach
  • Tower 2 at Alabama Point East
  • Tower 3 and Tower 4 at Cotton Bayou
  • Tower 5 at Romar Beach
  • Roving Lifeguards cover the rest of the beach using 4 Honda MUV’s, 2 Beach Trucks, and 1 Jet Ski.

The beach flag system used by Orange Beach Surf Rescue includes:

  • Yellow - Medium Hazard - moderate surf and/or currents. Yellow is Surf Rescue’s base flag because beach-goers should always be cautious while swimming in the Gulf or any open body of water.‬
  • Red - High Hazard - dangerous surf and/or currents. Swimming in the Gulf is highly discouraged when red flags are flying.
  • Purple - Dangerous Marine Life - flown when necessary in conjunction with red or yellow flags.
  • Double Red - Water Closed to Public due to life-threatening conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

Flag information is shared daily at many different places, including flags flying at the beaches.

  • Beach flag information is readily available each day by calling the Surf/Beach Condition Info Line at 251-981-SURF (7873).
  • Daily flag information is also posted on the Surf Rescue Facebook page at, on the city website homepage at, on the city's Twitter and Instagram pages, and further information about surf rescue is available at
  • Anyone at the beach near a lifeguard shouldn’t hesitate to ask about the conditions. The city also has Orange Beach Coastal Resources "Beach Ambassadors" in their orange shirts patrolling the beach and ready to answer questions. City staff is on the state beaches to help and want to do everything possible to keep all residents, visitors and families out of harm's way.
  • The National Weather Service is also an incredibly useful and accurate source of information. Locally, they are on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Don't be a statistic. Be safe and stay informed!