Beach Safety

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

Beach Warning Flags 

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Before heading out to the beach, check for current beach conditions to ensure you have a safe and fun experience. Beach flags are posted at all public beach areas and lifeguard towers in Gulf Shores. Please remember that the absence of beach flags does not constitute safe swimming conditions. 

Please note: Within the corporate limits of Gulf Shores, it is ILLEGAL to enter the Gulf of Mexico when double red flags are flying. Those who enter the Gulf waters when double red flags are displayed will be subject to a fine and possible arrest

Know before you go!

Checking beach conditions is easy! Before entering the water, please check current conditions in one of the following ways:

  • Call 251-968-SURF (7873). 
  • Visit
  • Text "ALBEACHES" to 888-777 to receive daily beach conditions via text message.

Beware of Rip Currents

Rip currents are strong currents of water that quickly flow away from shore at surf beaches. They typically form at breaks in sandbars and near structures such as jetties and piers. Watch the video below for more information on how to identify and escape rip currents.

Click here to view the latest rip current & surf report. 

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. 

Public Beach Access

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

beach safe logo horizontal full-color (1)For additional information on how to BEach SAFE, click here.