It has been a busy rescue season so far for the Volusia County Beach Patrol, and as higher numbers of beach enthusiasts are expected over the soon-to-come July 4th holiday, the top safety precaution the Patrol recommends is to swim close to a lifeguard. Volusia County Beach Patrol Captain Tammy Marris said Wednesday that the Beach Patrol has been rescuing an average of 20-30 swimmers per day during the week recently, and up to 80 people per day on the weekends. Over the past weekend, there were also rip current warnings in place, issued by the National Weather Service in Melbourne. Captain Marris emphasized the importance of swimming in front of a lifeguard, especially if a rip current warning has been issued because “…even the strongest swimmers [can] get caught in a rip current.”
What to do if you are caught in a rip current
According to tips at the Beach Patrol web site, take the following actions if you are caught in a rip current:
• Remain calm and do not fight the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current and then swim to the shore.
• If you are unable to swim out of the current, calmly float or tread water. If you are unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving or yelling for help.
• If you see someone in trouble, don’t become a victim too. Throw the person something that floats. Get help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1.
Teenager did not drown
Captain Marris also noted that a 14-year old who was lost in waters off New Smyrna Beach Sunday was swimming with friends in an “unguarded area,” but the boy’s death was determined to be due to an asthma attack. The Beach Patrol searched for the boy after friends reported him missing late Sunday afternoon.
New driving/parking rules for Volusia beaches
Remember that the following new rules for driving and parking on the beach were passed by the Volusia County Council this year, according to the Beach Patrol web site:
• Drive with your headlights on and at least one front window completely open.
• Texting while driving is prohibited.
Parking is not allowed in front of three beachfront parks:
• Sun Splash Park, Daytona Beach
• Frank Rendon Park, Daytona Beach Shores
• Flagler Avenue Park, New Smyrna Beach
Motorists may drive from north to south only in these areas:
• Granada Boulevard south to Cardinal Drive in Ormond Beach
• University Boulevard south to Seabreeze Boulevard in Daytona Beach
• International Speedway Boulevard south to Silver Beach Avenue in Daytona Beach
Click here to visit the Volusia County Beach Patrol web site, for beach and beach park maps, plus links to beach cams and the beach report and more.
Click here to visit the Volusia County Beach Patrol Facebook Page.
Click here to visit the National Weather Service in Melbourne web site.
You can contact Mike Royer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 407-473-2287.