By Kasia Ozog
Published: Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Many of us think about water safety when we’re at the beach, but next time you’re splashing around in the surf, you might want to consider the security of your valuables sitting on the sand.
Summer has arrived and people are hitting the sand and surf. In addition to the usual haul of towels, shade umbrellas and sunscreen, many beachgoers bring valuables like phones and wallets. But leaving these items on the beach while you swim, puts them at risk of accidental loss or theft.
RAA Insurance Claims Manager Hayley Cain says RAA receives many claims each year from members whose unattended belongings have been stolen while out and about. So, what’s the best way to keep your belongings safe?
Leave valuables at home
That sparkling engagement ring on your finger? It’s not needed at the beach. Those expensive headphones or designer bag? Both unnecessary. You should only pack essential items you know you’ll need for a day by the sea.
If you’ve packed food and drinks from home, don’t bring a lot of cash or all your cards. Instead, opt for small change and the cards you may need, such as your driver’s licence.
Set up near the lifeguards
Staying close to the lifeguards on duty and swimming between the flags when at the beach is not only smart – and advised – for safety reasons, it can also deter would-be thieves from targeting your belongings.
While lifeguards won’t watch your belongings, having them nearby could help minimise your chances of falling victim to opportunistic thieves who might be put off by the extra sets of eyes close by.
Keep your belongings in sight
When relaxing in the water, always keep your belongings in view. This not only acts as a great anchor point to remember where you’ve put your things for the day, it also allows you to keep a close eye on your possessions and anyone who looks like they’re snooping. If you’re spending the day with family or friends, take turns sitting on the sand to look after your belongings.
Fool would-be thieves
Don’t become a target for opportunistic thieves by leaving your valuables in plain sight. Instead, bury your items in a bag under your towel or hide them inside empty food packages (just don’t throw them out by mistake). If you don’t want to risk leaving items like your mobile phone unaccompanied, you can purchase waterproof pouches that can be worn while you swim.