Wherever you go, remember that only a few of Maui’s beaches are protected by lifeguards. So for your own safety, and the safety of others, follow these basic rules:

• Watch the ocean at least 20 minutes before entering. Telltale signs of hazardous conditions are water moving by rapidly, constant swirling in seemingly calm water and waves breaking far offshore.

• Never swim or snorkel alone. Always stay with children: flotation devices do not substitute for real swimming ability.

• Strong currents near shore are the most frequent and dangerous hazards. Areas near river mouths are particularly dangerous. Don’t swim in shorebreaks and don’t dive into water of unknown depth or into shallow breaking surf.

• Check for and obey warning signs posted before you enter the water. If lifeguards are unavailable, ask residents about rip currents, Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish, or other dangers.

• Locate the lifeguard station, emergency phone or rescue surfboard when you arrive at a beach.

• Never turn your back on the ocean until you’re well above high tide line, and use caution at beaches with high surf. Riptides are most common in these conditions. If caught in one, don’t fight the current. Wait until it subsides, then swim to shore. Don’t panic and exhaust yourself by fighting it.

Guarded Beaches on Maui:

North Shore, Kanaha Beach Park, Baldwin Beach Park, Ho’okipa Beach Park, West Shore, D.T. Fleming Park, Hanakao’o Park, Kihei Shore, Kamaole 1, Kamaole 2, Kamaole 3, Makena State Park