The sea


Bathing and water sports

Here are a few tips for you to enjoy safe bathing and water sports …
Always bathe where there is a lifeguard, never in forbidden or dangerous areas.

Ask the lifeguards at the beach about possible dangers:
- currents,
- weather (water and air, swelling, storms and bad weather generally),
- water quality (muddy water, pollution, jellyfish and sharks).
Do not swim in the sea unless you are in good physical shape:
- do not swim when you are tired (e.g. after a long voyage or when you have had a few drinks). Do not over-estimate your ability.
- Do not swim if you have been injured.
- Warm up gently first.

Never go swimming alone. Even good swimmers can get caught out with a cramp or start feeling faint.
Families should stay on lagoon beaches.
Take measures to prevent fainting, dehydration and sunstroke:
- avoid long exposure to the sun, stay in the shade.
- go into the water gradually, especially if you have been sunbathing.
- put sunscreen on regularly.
- drink water regularly, keep well hydrated.

Don’t go in the water at sunrise or sunset.
The rocks can be slippery, don’t go out on the spur of the moment and don’t go for walks or swimming when the water is swelling a lot.

Do not stray far from the beach, beware of currents (avoid the lagoon pass) and follow all the lifeguard’s instructions.
Wear reef shoes to protect your feet from the coral reef and sea urchins in the lagoon. However you must refrain from walking on the coral and taking any, even dead pieces: it is protected. Anyone who takes pieces of coral has to pay a huge fine.

Fishing: keep your catch out of the water – only go fishing in proper fishing boats
(not on surfboards, kayaks, inflatable mattresses etc.).

Surfing: The steering committee of the Réunion Island Surfing League is currently advising surfers against going in the water. Contact the League for information on supervised surfing sessions.

Sea excursions: before going out to sea, enquire at the Harbour Master's Office (Capitainerie). Never go out to sea when the water is swelling, if a cyclone has been announced or in bad weather.

Diving: for induction and exploring, go with an approved professional who can show you the treasures of our ocean, in safe conditions for a great learning experience.

Useful numbers
Réunion Island has an excellent network of nurses, doctors, and well-equipped hospitals.
Emergency number: 112
Ambulance: 15
Fire brigade: 18