Check tide times - the sea can move quickly. It's easy to get cut off by the tide, especially in bays (such as Marsden Bay which has limited access). There can be multiple high tides in a day. Check weather forecasts and tides at: Met Office: Beach forecast and tide times
Read the beach safety signs - these are usually found at the entrance of beaches. They'll let you know about hazards, prohibited activities, lifeguard services and other information.
Don't climb or jump off the dunes - there might be hidden fencing which can be sharp.
Be careful when walking on piers or harbour walls - don't cross any safety barriers, be careful when walking on wet or uneven surfaces and look out for sharp objects.
Protect yourself from the sun
Going into the sea
When going into the sea, remember:
Only swim between the red and yellow flags when there are lifeguards on duty, and never swim when the red flag is flying - read more about flags at RNLI: Beach safety
Do not swim if asked not to by a lifeguard or coastguard
Swim within your capabilities
Swim parallel to the beach
Do not swim soon after eating a meal
Swim with others - never alone
Avoid rocks, sea walls and other structures
Do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs