For Your Safety: Use Caution In and Around the Water

A lifeguard sits in a lifeguard chair on a sandy beach.

Swim at lifeguarded beaches

Fire Island National Seashore lifeguards are typically on duty daily from July Fourth to Labor Day at Sailors Haven and Watch Hill, and on weekends during that time at Talisman/Barrett Beach. Some of the communities within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore also have lifeguarded beaches.

Lifeguards update the information board and adjust the size of the protected swim areas according to the conditions of the day. We strongly recommend that you always swim at a guarded beach, where properly trained lifeguards watch for and can alert you to rip currents, lateral currents, large storm surf, undertow and other hazards in the water.

You may swim at most other locations without lifeguards, but be advised that swimming is at your own risk, and you should be respectful of other people's recreational rights. Swimming is not permitted within fishing areas, marinas, or near boat traffic. Surfing, fishing, and pets are not permitted within the designated swim beach area.

Sea creatures you may encounter include seasonal stinging jellyfish and sea lice, pinching crabs, and occasional schools of fish that can bite, like bluefish. Shark sightings are very rare, but they do live in the ocean and bay.

Be aware of rip currents and learn more about water safety.


Wading and Walking

Use caution as you're walking along the shoreline or in the surf zone. You may wish to wear water shoes to protect your feet from broken shells or other submerged hazards in or near the water. You should stay clear of any marine mammals that are stranded on the beach; never touch them.

Lifeguards clean the guarded beach on a daily basis during the summer, but debris may wash up or become uncovered during the night.



When in or on a boat, you should always wear a properly-fitted U. S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. Children ages 12 and under are required by law to wear a PFD while boating, and we recommend that children wear a PFD while on the dock or along the water.

Remember that no wake is allowed in the marinas.



Watch for rapid changes in weather conditions; storms can travel quickly across the water. If there is lightning, get out of the water and avoid open areas, tall trees and metal poles. Stay inside a building if possible. If you are outdoors and no shelter is available, find a low ravine—but not a marsh or bog area—and crouch down to avoid lightning.

Last updated: June 21, 2021

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