Rip Currents, Fewer Manned Lifeguard Towers Prompt Safety Warning On Beaches

By  //  November 2, 2016

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ocean rescue had 25 saves last weekend alone

ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Ocean Rescue wants you to arrive at the beach ready for some fun, but also armed with knowledge on how to be safe. The 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year in Florida, Brevard County Ocean Rescue wants you to be prepared and know before you go, especially when it comes to rip currents.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Strong rip currents led to a busy weekend for Brevard County Ocean Rescue, which recorded 25 rescues.

The weekend also marked the end of the April to October season in which 25 lifeguard towers are manned on weekends and, during the summer months, throughout the entire week.

Five year-round lifeguard towers will continue to be manned, but Ocean Rescue Chief Eisen Witcher is also asking for beachgoers to think safety first.

“We are very proud of the extraordinary work these men and women have done to make sure Brevard County beaches were safe and we look forward to seeing them back in the spring,” Witcher said.

“Although the 20 seasonal towers will be closing, our five year-round towers will continue to be open to protect residents and tourists throughout the winter and spring.

Lifeguards will also continue to perform mobile patrols throughout the area in the event of an emergency.”

The five towers that operate year-round have lifeguards on duty 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

North Brevard
• South Cocoa Beach Pier
• Central Shepard Park
• Central Lori Wilson Park
• North Minuteman Causeway/Coconuts

South Brevard
• Paradise/Futch Park

Due to the erosion and damaging effects of Hurricane Matthew, lifeguards are expecting a busy winter as the rip current threat will continue late into the year.

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Witcher recommends visitors take appropriate steps to make sure they’re safe when at the beach. Bathers and beachgoers are reminded to utilize the 9-1-1 system for any emergency occurring in Brevard County and on the beach when lifeguards are not present.

These emergencies will continue to receive an Ocean Rescue response throughout the year.

ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard County Ocean Rescue receives year round trianing, both in classroom and on the beaches.

Safety tips recommended by Ocean Rescue:
• Never swim alone
• Swim near a lifeguard on duty
• Check in with the lifeguard before going into the water for ocean conditions and hazards
• Practice good judgment
• Swim and surf within your abilities
• Listen to all lifeguard warnings and announcements

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