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Spring Break Information
Spring Break Information
Beach Flag Warning System
Walton County Beach Flag Warning System

******Important Contact Information******

Sheriff's Department Non-Emergency - 850-892-8111
South Walton Fire Beach Safety Director - 850-267-1298
Emergency Situations - 911

Spring Break Safety Tips from the South Walton Fire Department

As South Walton continues to increase as a popular Spring Break destination, emergency responses  continue to increase as well  One way to help reduce some of those preventable calls is to follow a few safety tips. This will ensure your spring break is a safe but fun time.  Remember, common sense is never on “Break”.


  • Drinking + Sun = A bad sunburn and an even worse hangover.
  • Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol. Take it slow and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Don’t be a lobster. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and reapply often. Pay extra special attention to ears, nose, face and shoulders. Fair skinned friends should wear sunglasses and even a hat.
  • Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours of the sun’s rays.
  • Remember you can burn even when it’s cloudy.
  • Always swim in areas protected by lifeguards if possible.
  • Learn and obey the beach flag warning system for areas with this in place.


  • If safes are provided, definitely use them for any valuables you may have.
  • Keep doors and sliding doors locked, and don’t let anyone into your room unless you can trust them.
  • Make a mental note of where the nearest fire exits and stairwells are located in case you need to evacuate.
  • If you hear the fire alarm sounding, don’t assume it is a “false alarm” and not react.


  • If you are of legal age (21 yrs. or older) and decide to drink, please do so responsibly.
  • Limit your consumption because being intoxicated makes you an easy target.
  • Be aware of alcohol poisoning.  Know your limits. Never drink & drive. Always have a designated driver or a plan to get home safely. Driving buzzed is the same as drunk driving.


SWFD would like to remind all our residents, guests and visitors that the beach flag system set in place is “for your protection and safety but only if you obey the flags”.

When you enter the gulf in red flag conditions you are not only putting yourself at risk, but you are putting others in jeopardy as well. By following some simple beach water safety tips, your day at the beach can be enjoyable and safe.

  • Always swim near or by guarded beaches and only when lifeguards are present.
  • Never swim alone. Always have a “swim buddy”
  • Parents should always watch their children. In a matter of seconds a child or (even an adult) can instantly be overtaken by the surf.
  • During red flag conditions even “knee deep is too deep”
  • If you’re not sure what the conditions are, don’t attempt to enter the water. Remember

“If you don’t know, don’t go”.

  • No diving in the gulf. “Feet first, first time”. Sandbars can be shallow and often time gauging depth is difficult to do.
  • If you are in trouble, shout or wave for help.

If you would like to learn more about beach safety, please contact our Beach Safety Director Gary Wise at 850-267-1298 or by e-mail

Spring Break Safety Tips from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office

Spring Break is fast approaching and many students are preparing to travel to Walton County to enjoy our beautiful beaches.  The WCSO has a few tips for spring break safety.

Be Smart.  Students are not invincible.  Spring breakers are involved in incidents that lead to arrest, injury and property damage.  Many of the incidents are linked to alcohol and drug use.  The legal drinking age in Florida is 21.  If you are under the age of 21 and are found in possession of alcohol or driving while under the influence, you will be charged with breaking the law.  We encourage everyone of legal drinking age to have a designated driver, call a cab and do not accept drinks from anyone you do not know.  A great plan is to travel in groups for safety reasons and look out for one another. 

Be Safe.  The Sheriff’s Office encourages students to carry ID on them at all times.  In case of an emergency, family and friends can be contacted by law enforcement.  While at the beach, be sure to know the Beach Flag Warning System before heading in the water.  If you get caught in a rip current, don’t swim against it. Swim parallel to the shore until the rip passes.  Swim in areas where lifeguards are present. Drinking in the sun can maximize the effects of alcohol, so keep this in mind, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and if you start feeling faint or light-headed, find shade and water immediately. 

Our Priority.  The Sheriff’s Office wants to ensure that students return home safely, and we believe that a well-informed spring breaker is a safer spring breaker.  We want everyone to have an enjoyable time but to do so safely.  We will increase patrol on our beaches and on our roads.  Operations will be conducted to target individuals who purchase, give or otherwise provide alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances or synthetic drugs to underage youth.  We will monitor spring break activities throughout Walton County and will collect statistics daily regarding alcohol possession, tobacco, controlled substances and synthetic drugs.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the well-being of our youth, our visitors and our residents.