Rules of Horseneck Beach
Many of the rules at Horseneck are created not by the lifeguards, but by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are rooted in state laws. This list is not an all inclusive list of rules and regulations, but it does highlight some of the commonly misunderstood rules encountered on a daily basis.
SWIM NO DEEPER THAN CHEST DEPTH - While lifeguards may restrict swimming to shallower depths, this is generally the deepest we are comfortable with bathers swimming. As a rule of thumb, we try to keep bathers close enough that we can get to them in 30-60 seconds. Being able to touch the bottom also greatly reduces a swimmers vulnerablity to the pull of the RIP CURRENTS for which Horseneck Beach is famous... or infamous.
NO FLOATS ALLOWED - This includes all manner of floatation devices. "Swimmies", "Water Wings", Kick Boards, etc. Coast Guard Approved PFD floats are OK (See next rule.) Recent changes to state laws allow the use of Boogie Boards and Surf Boards with the permission of lifeguard staff and in areas designated by the lifeguard staff. Check with guards before using these items and they will likely be able to let you know the "rule of the day" and any location restrictions.
LIFEJACKETS - Horseneck Surf Rescue recognizes that properly worn US Coast Guard Approved lifejackets can provide an increased degree of protection against water related injuries and emergencies. Patrons are allowed to wear these approved devices while in the water. Children wearing these devices must be within reach of an adult in the water at all times. Failure to follow this rule may result in the removal of the person and their lifejacket from the water. How to determine if your Lifejacket is US Coast Guard Approved
NO DOGS ON THE BEACH - Due to possible dangers to protected bird species dogs are not allowed on the beach during the summer season. Service dogs with appropriate vests or identifiers are welcome at any time. Dogs may NOT be left in the car while you are on the beach. Conditions in the hot car can quickly become lethal for dogs and any cars found with dogs in them will promptly get a visit by law enforcement who will determine the appropriate action.
NO GRILLS OR FIRES ON THE BEACH - The danger of sand that is heated by the sun is largely invisible can cause painful burns to peoples feet. Sand that is superheated by grills or fires poses the same invisible threate, but with much harsher burns possible. Save the grilling for home and the campfires for the campground down the road.
THE SAND DUNES ARE AN OFF LIMITS AREA - The grass on the dunes helps hold them in place as a natural barrier against erosion. Walking on the dune grass kills it off. The Dunes are also a habitat and home for some protected wildlife species that should not be disturbed. This areal also provides a natural habitat for ticks including the Lyme Disease carrying Deer Tick.
STAY OFF THE LIFEGUARD STANDS - They aren't jungle gyms and the dangers involved with falling from that height are quite severe.
SWIM IN GUARDED WATER WHENEVER POSSIBLE - Not really a rule, but generally a very good idea.