VIDEO: Water Safety Tips By Brevard Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi
By Nealy Kehres // May 31, 2016
Scabarozi Has 16 years of experience
ABOVE VIDEO: Brevard Ocean Rescue Chief offers some tips and advice to keep residents safe this summer. (Nealy Kehres/SpaceCoastDaily Video)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida’s warm summer weather is in full force, and nothing tempers the heat like the ocean’s cool breeze and refreshing waves.
However, dangerous conditions in the water can turn a day at the beach from relaxing to life threatening.
Since 2007, there have been around 5,000 ocean rescues in Brevard County, according to USLA (United States Lifesaving Association).
It serves as a testament to the importance of lifeguards as well as the accuracy of Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi’s advice to beachgoers.
“The number one place [to swim] is in front of a life guard tower,” Scabarozi said.
“The biggest thing is stay in front of them, always keep eye contact with the lifeguards, and place yourself … in front of where, if you are in trouble, you can wave or get their attention and they can come out and save you.”
Scabarozi has served as Brevard ocean rescue chief since 2008 but started his career as a lifeguard in 2000.
With 16 years of experience, he offers vital tips so Space Coast residents and guests can swim safely this summer.
The key to success is a focus on prevention, said Scabarozi, who spearheads Ocean Rescue and its $1.1 million budget not from a lifeguard tower but from a virtual tool shed-turned-makeshift office in a remote corner of the parking lot at Lori Wilson Park.
“We work to be proactive lifeguards. We work to warn the public before they get into trouble,” said Scabarozi.
“A big thing is education. We look out for people who may not be accustomed to the beach environment, and the big thing is to inform them of the dangers of the day.”
Brevard County Ocean Rescue was named 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association.
“We’ve made it pretty far in the course of six or seven years,” Scabarozi said.