Lesson 5 – 20 minutes

Learning outcomes

  • Identify the (five) 5 beach safety tips using the F.L.A.G.S. acronym
  • Identify different safety signs on their beach and their meaning
  • Understand the three different sign shapes and colours


  • Whiteboard and markers (optional).
  • Butchers paper and pens (optional).
  • Worksheet:
    • Signs of the times
    • Pens/pencils
  • Before the lesson, identify the safety signage on your beach and/or the safety signs used on patrol.


  • Introduce each of the five surf safety tips.
  • Ask the participants what each surf safety tip means, and discuss each in more detail.


F.L.A.G.S Safety Tips
(F) Find the red and yellow flags and swim between them – it’s the safest place to swim because lifesavers patrol it.
(L) Look for safety signs – safety signs will alert you of any important information needed to make your time at the beach safer and more fun.
(A) Ask a lifesaver for some good advice – approach a lifeguard on patrol and ask them if there are any dangers to look out for at the beach.
(G) Get a parent to swim with you – Ask a parent to swim with you and look out for you while at the beach.
(S) Stick your hand up for help – this is the best way to attract attention in the water.

Activity 1

  • Take the participants on a beach walk and point out the five F.L.A.G.S tips along the way.

Activity 2

  • Complete the F.L.A.G.S worksheet.

Activity 3

  • Ask the participants to point out the local safety signage at your beach.
  • Take the participants on a tour of the safety signage they have pointed out (and any others you know of) and discuss with them what they mean.


  • Three Types of Signs:
    • Red circle with a line crossed through the centre – This is an instruction sign that symbolises what can’t be done and/or is a breach of safety procedures.
    • Yellow diamond with black border – This warning sign warns of a particular danger/hazard. This activity is not advised.
    • Blue square – This is an information sign that informs of water safety features or locations for particular activities.


  • Explain to the participants why we use signs (we couldn’t write safety messages everywhere in different styles or there would be confusion).
  • Discuss the three types of signs.
  • Signs are designed the same way so people such as international visitors who speak different languages, holidaymakers, or people unfamiliar with the local beaches can all understand what they mean.

Activity 4

Ask the participants to complete the ‘Signs of the Times’ worksheet.
NOTE: complete this talk/lesson with the patrol team on duty.


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