Beach Safety

The City of Gulf Shores provides seasonal lifeguard services between March and September, and encourages the public to swim at the protected public swimming areas (Gulf Place, West 6th Street, and Lagoon Pass) when lifeguards are present. One full-time beach safety supervisor and seasonal lifeguards make up the City of Gulf Shores Beach Patrol. 

Public Beach Access
The City of Gulf Shores offers several public beach access areas. Find information about beach access and parking fees.

Beach Warning Flags 
The Beach Warning Flag System is in place for your safety.  Please observe and obey the flag system and all lifeguards.  The absence of beach warning flags does not constitute safe swimming conditions.  For current surf conditions call 251-968-TIDE (8433).  Beach Warning flags are present at the following locations

Rip Current & Surf Reports
View the latest rip current & surf reports

Red Tide
Red tide results from a massive build-up of certain species of microscopic sea organisms known as dinoflagellates. These organisms produce a toxin that affects the central nervous system of fish so they are paralyzed and cannot breathe. At high concentrations, the organisms may produce a discoloration of the water. Red tides are often referred to as “blooms.” The species (Karenia brevis), isolated from waters along the Gulf Coast, may produce toxins that also cause skin irritation and respiratory problems in humans.

Health Department officials advise: 
  • Avoid the area if you are susceptible to respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema.
  • Leave the water if you experience skin irritations while swimming or boating and rinse immediately with fresh water.
  • If you experience nose, throat or eye irritation when exposed to the gulf mist, avoid the mist.
  • Do not eat fish from the red tide-affected area that are lethargic, swim in circles or appear unhealthy.
For addition information, visit or contact the Alabama Department of Public Health at 334-206-5300.