When Not To Swim In The Ocean?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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The first reason not to swim in the ocean is that you do not know how; otherwise, a bit of common sense and weather savvy will keep you out of the sea when it is unsafe.

Most often than not, the beaches will be open for visitors to sunbathe or swim, and lifeguards will be on their lookout towers with no issues.

Sometimes there are beach closures for wildlife or weather purposes, sea turtle egg-laying season, shark swarming season, or even the dreaded hurricane and typhoon that will be reason enough to stay out of the ocean.

Woman with her eyes closed standing in ocean water - When Not To Swim In The Ocean?

How do you Know if it’s Safe to Swim in the Ocean?

This will be done in stages; hopefully, the first check will be from home. This check will be on the water and seasonal closures that might impact a beach trip or hazardous developments (oil spills) that would prevent folks from swimming in the ocean.

Next comes the eye and temperature tests; when you arrive at the beach, survey the scene and test out the environment; if it’s too cold for a swim, do not get in. This will be the second checkpoint before it is time to enjoy the beach for what it is.


Woman with her eyes closed standing in ocean water - When Not To Swim In The Ocean?


Is it Safe to Swim in the Ocean at Dusk?

To be blunt, the answer is no, and swimming at dusk is far from safe.

There are plenty of reasons not to go swimming with impaired vision, nocturnal predators becoming active, dangerous natural hazards that will be unseen, and the possibility of being ripped out to the open ocean by the undertow.

That is different from that specific charter trips could have the proper equipment and lighting to maintain a safe enough space for swimmers to explore the ocean at night.


How Close do Sharks Come to Shore?

Different breeds swim in various water depths; nurse and Tiger sharks are known to frequent the shallow water near the beach to scavenge up a meal. Tiger sharks are known to eat everything, even license plates that found their way into the waterways.

The more critical piece of information to worry about is when the man biters are active, these breeds, like the Mako shark, are highly aggressive fish and are best avoided when enjoying ocean recreational activities.

For the concerned beachgoer, the best way to be sure is to talk with the lifeguard about the shark species in the area.


What is the Safest Time to Swim in the Sea?

The safest time to swim in the ocean would be outside of hurricane season and in the middle of the afternoon. At this point, the day is warm.

Hopefully, the sun is out also, which makes visibility an asset for safety. An essential thing while at the beach is to maintain a line of sight with everyone in your party.

The last thing anyone wants is to have a shark attack go unnoticed and lead to mortal consequences. Therefore, the simple answer is to swim when the day is sunny and the oceans are clear.


How Cold is Too Cold to Swim in the Ocean?

This will depend on a person’s level of expertise and the quality of seagoing swimwear; a person with a navy seals wetsuit can brave just about any temperature, depending on the equipment.

Otherwise, a person should only frequent the beach on those generic sunny days with seventy-degree weather and clear skies.

Speaking of logical reasoning, the only reason to even think about going to swim in the ocean during a below seventy-degree day would be for training purposes or crazed passion.

The best policy is to be safe, not sorry, and taking a risk, like swimming in the ocean when it is cold, is not worth the risk.


Final Thoughts on When Not to Swim in the Ocean

Swimming in the ocean should be on the bucket list of every human on the planet. There is nothing like swimming in a body of water that connects the entire globe. That being said, there are going to be dangers in the ocean that a swimmer should be aware of.

Wildlife like sharks and jellyfish can present unpredictable water hazards; the tides and undertow will also provide an element of danger.

The safest plan is to have a group go together, maintain lines of sight with each other, and research the trip before leaving the house.