Which Delaware Beaches are Lifeguarded?

The Delaware beaches are quite dazzling. Windsurfing, paddleboarding, kite surfing, and just plain old surfing are incredibly popular due to the beach’s big waves and shore drops. But there’s also plenty of beachgoers lounging out and families flocking to the shallow part of the beach where the waves crash.

It’s fun for all. But regardless of your activity, you have to remain safe. This is why many of the best beaches in Delaware have lifeguards present.

We cover which Delaware beaches have lifeguard coverage, including how to spot a post, what the present danger flags mean, what hours are covered, and other safety things to consider.

Which Delaware beaches have lifeguards?

rehoboth beach stretch

Currently, most Delaware state park beaches are covered by a lifeguard. The Delaware State Parks Beach Patrol cover state park beaches in the state. They receive nationally certified training and are consistently trained in the best procedures.

If it is an officially designated state park in Delaware, there will be some kind of lifeguard coverage on-site. But it doesn’t mean the lifeguard is close by. If you are concerned for safety, we suggest following all flags and posted signs for safety and staying close to the lifeguard station. 

One of the state’s most popular beaches is Rehoboth Beach. It is one of the most popular lifeguards stationed beaches in Delaware. There is also Cape Henlopen State Park which stations lifeguards throughout the year. Fenwick Island State Park, Lewes Beach, and Delaware Seashore State Park have also posted lifeguards.

Are lifeguards on duty all the time?

Lifeguards are not always on duty all the time. As a general rule, lifeguards are present during the peak travel season in the summer. This often encompasses May through August. Lifeguards usually arrive in the early morning, around 9 a.m., and are stationed until dusk.

Lifeguards often remain in the post, reviewing the water, and switch out periodically throughout the day. This is usually in shifts of about 30 minutes. Lifeguards may also scan the beaches via beach vehicles. Typically, two lifeguards are assigned to each stand. There will almost always be one on the beach and the other positioned on the stand.

lifeguard on rehoboth beach

Lifeguard hours may vary slightly by the location’s seasonal popularity. For example, Rehoboth Beach lifeguards are present during the whole summer. The beach is open to the public and free, so it tends to bring many interested beach travelers.

Cape Henlopen State Park is predominantly lifeguard stationed from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The park’s wheelchair accessibility and World War II observation tower make it a popular visit.

Lewes Beach is stationed during the summer, as does Fenwick Island State Park. We discourage staying and swimming when no lifeguards are present.

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What do different flags mean?

The flags for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, are always clearly present, often both at the station and along the beach. 

  • Yellow: Yellow means there is moderate surf or medium currents. Some level of swimming experience is encouraged to enter the water.
  • Red: Red means that there is strong surf or intense currents. Swimming is highly discouraged for all but the most experienced swimmers.
  • Two Red Flags: Swimming is not allowed.
  • Purple: A purple flag means that there is some presence of marine life, particularly jellyfish, stingrays, or sea snakes. It does not, however, indicate a shark. If this is the case, it is likely the beach will be closed to the public.
  • Orange Directional: This flag will dictate the direction of the wind, especially if it’s intense. It is usually discouraged to use floatation devices if this flag is present.
  • Black Ball Flag: Surfing or non-powered watercraft is not allowed if this flag is up, yellow with a black circle inside.

There are other flags to consider for danger, high surf, deep drop, and more. We suggest visiting The Surfer Today website for more or simply asking the present lifeguard on site.

lifeguard on rehoboth beach

Stay close to the water! 

Why not stay right on the water? Our Delaware Beach house rentals really offer the best of all worlds. You can experience the best of the beach any time you want.