American flag lifeguard stand gulf shores al

Beach Report and Safety

In Gulf Shores & Orange Beach


*Updated as soon as we receive the latest report from emergency services. 
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Yellow beach flag Medium Hazard Moderate surf and/or currents
Medium Hazard
Moderate surf and/or currents
Purple flag marine pests are present exercise caution
Marine Pests are Present
Exercise caution
  • Today’s flag color: Yellow & Purple Flags. Yellow Flags represent Medium Hazard with Moderate Surf and Currents. Purple Flags are for the presence of Jellyfish. Please swim with caution.
  • Gulf temperature: 86 Degrees
  • Surf conditions: Fair with waves at 1 foot and west running currents.
  • Rip current forecast: Low Risk
  • Daily weather: Mostly sunny with the high temperature in the upper 80's. 
  • Wind: Northeast winds around 10 mph. 
  • UV index: Very High
  • Tides: High Tide is at 5:48 AM & Low Tide is at 4:54 PM.
*Please review the rules and regulations and respect our shores to help protect our beloved natural resources during your visit

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Weather


Please be advised that there will be no lifeguards on duty on Gulf Shores and Orange Beach public beaches from October through February. During this time, beach patrol and response will be limited. Always check the beach flags and surf conditions before entering the water, and never swim alone.


Beach warning flags are posted at all public beach areas in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Gulf State Park. Conditions are monitored throughout the day. Please remember that the absence of red flags does not assure safe conditions. Within the corporate city limits of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, it is illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico when two red flags are displayed.

Yellow Beach Flag medium hazard moderate surf and/or currents
Medium Hazard
Moderate surf and/or currents
Purple Beach Flag - Marine pests are present exercise caution
Marine Pests are Present

Exercise caution

Red Beach Flag High Hazard High surf and/or strong currents

High Hazard
High surf and/or strong currents
Double red flags water is closed to public. It is illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico within the corporate limits of either city when two red flags are displayed
Water Closed To The Public
It is illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico within the corporate limits of either city when two red flags are displayed. 


Play It Safe: Check Daily Beach Conditions

By Text
Sign up to receive daily beach conditions and warning flag status by texting ALBEACHES to 888777. At the end of your vacation, opt out of the text alerts by texting STOP.
For additional weather alerts and warnings for the local area, text ALERTBALDWIN to 888777. At the end of your vacation, opt out of the text alerts by texting STOP
By Phone

For beach conditions in Gulf Shores, call 251-968-SURF (7873).
For beach conditions in Orange Beach, call 251-981-SURF (7873). 


For beach conditions across the entire Alabama coast, visit the National Weather Service, then select the Rip Current tab. 

Watch this short video to learn about the beach safety flag meanings.


  • Rip currents are most prevalent when the waves crash perpendicular to the beach rather than at an angle.
  • One of the easiest ways to spot a rip current is to look for gaps between the waves. A small patch of calm water surrounded by waves is often a rip current. 
  • Look for discolored water near the shore. Rip currents tend to drag large amounts of sand and sediment back out to sea with them, so many rip currents are easily identified by a noticeable flow of sand extending away from the shore.
  • Rip currents are also common in areas near sand bars, piers, pilings and jetties. 


Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of water moving quickly away from shore. They occur on all beaches and may happen at any time. Before you hit the beach, learn how to recognize a rip current and how to escape if caught in one. 

Rip Current


  • Remain calm. Fighting the rip current can exhaust you. 
  • Escape the current by swimming parallel to the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle—away from the current—toward shore. 
  • If unable to escape by swimming, float, or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore.
  • If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call, or wave for help.
  • To help someone else caught in a rip current, first call 9-1-1 for assistance, then seek help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not present, yell instructions on how to escape or throw the victim something that floats. 

Helpful Tips For a Safe Beach Trip

Know Your Location

You may not always know the address of your location or how to instruct others to find you. With the what3words app, your location can be pinpointed within a 10-foot square. The entire world has been given a unique combination of three words for each 10-foot square: a what3words address. Now you can find, share and navigate to precise locations using three simple words. And while there are many ways to use the app, some of the best uses within our destination include: 

  • Helping emergency services find you
  • Finding your way back to your parking space
  • Helping others find you at a festival or event
  • For trail navigation

Learn more and download the app at

Swim Safely in The Gulf of Mexico

Swimming in the Gulf is much different than swimming in a pool. It is important to respect the strength of the sea and the marine life that lives there. 

  • ALWAYS check surf and weather conditions before heading to the beach and observe beach flags.
  • Never swim alone. Always stay in groups. Don’t wander too far from shore. 
  • Don’t swim near piers, pilings, and platforms. Exercise caution when swimming in areas between sandbars or near steep drop-offs. 
  • Do not swim in areas being used by fishermen. Avoid swimming in areas where schools of fish are present. Diving seabirds are good indicators of areas to avoid.
  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix. 
  • Use extra caution when water is murky. Avoid being in the water during dusk, nighttime, or twilight hours.
  • Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and clothing. 
  • Stay informed of local weather and beach conditions.
Sun Safety
  • Protect your skin:  Always wear a sunscreen appropriate for your skin type, paying special attention to face, nose, ears, shoulders, and feet. Protect your lips as well. Most people don’t realize how much sun they’re getting until it’s too late. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and should be reapplied every two hours or after getting wet. 
  • Children Need Extra Protection: Liberally apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Make sure children wear sun hats and sunglasses. Re-apply sunscreen frequently, especially after swimming. 
  • Drink Plenty of Water: Even if you don’t feel thirsty, your body needs water to keep cool. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which can dehydrate you. 
  • Protect Your Eyes:  Ultra-violet (UV) rays can damage your eyes. Don’t forget your sunglasses. 
  • Beware of Heat Stroke: Watch for hot, red, and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. If someone shows symptoms, call 911. Keep the victim lying down and cool the body by placing ice packs or cold packs on wrists, ankles, armpits, and neck. Wet towels may also be used.
  • Sunburn Relief: Drink lots of water. Soak in a cool bath or apply cold compresses several times a day. Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen may help relieve pain and swelling, and aloe vera may help relieve the burn. Do not apply petroleum jelly or oil-based lotions.