Beach Safety / Molly's Patrol

Current Beach Conditions

Last Update: June 12, 2021 - 8:28am
Medium Hazard

What does each flag signify?

Low Hazard
Medium Hazard
Dangerous Marine Life
High Hazard
Water Closed to Public
High Hazard, Marine Life
Medium Hazard, Marine Life
Low Hazard, Marine Life

Orange Beach Surf Rescue Tower 1

Daily Beach Report for Saturday, June 12th, 2021:

  • We are flying Yellow Flags. Yellow Flags represent Medium Hazard with Moderate Surf and Currents.
  • Please swim with caution.
  • The Gulf Temperature is: 82º and surf conditions are Fair with waves around 1-2 ft  and East running currents.
  • The rip current forecast today is: Moderate
  • The Weather Today Will Be:  Mostly Sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and a High of 88 degrees
  • Winds will be coming out of the: West at 10 to 15 mph
  •  The UV index today is: Very High
  • High Tide is scheduled at 12:57pm

Orange Beach Surf Rescue

The Orange Beach Fire Department's Beach Safety Division had humble beginnings. Surf Rescue was formed in 2008 starting out under Parks & Recreation, daily patrols consisted of two USLA trained lifeguards covering 7 1/2 miles of coastline and educating visitors about beach and water safety. Ten years later Surf Rescue has grown tremendously receiving the title "Molly's Patrol," thanks to the generous donations from Tommy and Rebecca Bryant.

Molly's Patrol was established in the memory of Molly Bryant to further educate beach goers about the hidden dangers of rip currents and other beach hazards. On January 1, 2012 Surf Rescue was moved to the Fire Department and the Beach Safety Division was created.

As Lifeguards our goal is to provide a safe beach environment for all of our visitors. Feel free to stop by any lifeguard tower to ask about current beach conditions or regulations.

 

Our Team

  • Surf Rescue operates as an Advanced United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) agency providing water safety and medical aid.
  • We consist of 24 seasonal lifeguards: 2 full time and 2 part time.
  • Covering almost 8 miles of coastline ranging from Flora-Bama to the Gulf State Park Pavilion.
  • Lifeguards operate from March 1st to October 31st every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (In the summer months - Memorial Day to Labor Day - Surf Rescue runs a staggered shift, which provides a skeleton crew of lifeguards until sunset.)

Surf Rescue has five towers stationed at public beaches:

  • Tower 1 at Shell Beach
  • Tower 2 at Alabama Point East
  • Tower 3 and Tower 4 at Cotton Bayou
  • Tower 5 at Romar Beach
  • Roving Lifeguards cover the rest of the beach using 5 UTVs, 2 Beach Trucks, and 2 Jet Skis.

Contact Information

DAILY SURF/BEACH CONDITION INFO LINE: 251-981-SURF (7873).

The beach flag system used by Orange Beach Surf Rescue includes:

  • Yellow - Medium Hazard - moderate surf and/or currents. Yellow is Surf Rescue’s base flag because beach-goers should always be cautious while swimming in the Gulf or any open body of water.‬
  • Red - High Hazard - dangerous surf and/or currents. Swimming in the Gulf is highly discouraged when red flags are flying.
  • Purple - Dangerous Marine Life (includes jellyfish, stingrays, and Portuguese man o’ war) - flown when necessary in conjunction with red or yellow flags.
  • Double Red - Water Closed to Public due to life-threatening conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

Junior Lifeguard Program

Orange Beach Surf Rescue will offer two Junior Lifeguard Program sessions in the Summer of 2021. THE 2021 SESSION ARE NOW FULL. Registration will open on April 1 and will be handled online on ActiveNet. Links to the registration site will be added on the session information below on April 1st. (Please note: Parents/guardians will need to create an ActiveNet family account before enrolling. Find instructions after the Junior Lifeguard information.) 

  • Session 1 (Ages 9-11) - June 7-11 - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Participant must be 9 years old by the beginning of session.)

  • Session 2 (Ages 12-15) - June 21-25 - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The cost is $150.

Junior Guards will learn vital skills in all areas of water safety. Learning topics will include: rip current safety, beach safety, CPR, physical health, teamwork and water rescue. In addition, Junior Guards will perform daily physical exercise in the form of running, swimming, or a game. Instructors cover how rip currents are formed, how to identify them along the beach, and how to escape if caught in a rip current. At the completion of the program Junior Guard should have an overall higher level of water confidence and an improved swimming ability. Each Junior Guard will receive a rash guard, hat, bracelet and completion certificate.

Participants will need: running shoes, swim suit, goggles, towel, lunch and snacks daily.

Pick up/Drop off Location: Orange Beach Aquatics Center (4853 Wilson Blvd., Orange Beach).

For more information, contact Beach Safety Supervisor Garrett White at 251-233-3282 or email gwhite@orangebeachal.gov.

Creating Your ActiveNet Account

To register for activities, you will need to create an Active Orange Beach account.

(Click here to download a printable version of the instructions to create an ActiveNet account.)

Register for Activities on ActiveNet 

ActiveNet Orange Beach site - https://apm.activecommunities.com/orangebeach. After an account is created, you can enroll in an activity.  


Molly Bryant high school photo

Molly's story

In July of 2003, while on a trip to the Gulf Coast with her church group, Molly, with a group of friends, was swimming in the Gulf waters when the unthinkable happened. Molly was only 15 years old when she drowned, due to a rip current.

Molly was an outstanding and beautiful young lady.  She spent the first part of her last summer on a mission trip, ministering to and feeding homeless children in San Francisco.  This experience influenced her decision to devote her life to children’s ministry.  Molly loved children and had a compassion for those who were deprived of a life like hers, one in which she was so richly blessed and loved.

The Bryant Family knows Molly made her mark in this world, but realize she would not want them to end her mission of giving others hope.  They have diligently sought to make a difference:  working toward the implementation of beach and water safety standards.  The Bryant Family continues to work to make Orange Beach the safest beach along the Gulf Coast and to give the legacy of Molly Bryant and her love for children the gift of a safer environment for our children and our children’s children. Beach safety is vital to the entire community and specifically to those that choose to spend their vacations in our city. 


Donations

You can make tax deductible donations to Molly's Patrol by clicking the Donate link below. Donations help with equipment, personal, and repairs. All donations are greatly appreciated and will be utilized to increase the safety of the residents and visitors to our beaches. 

Donate Now