Fourth of July; One of the busiest beach days of the year

Beachgoers urged to use extra care in water, stay hydrated, keep eye on kids

By Lena Pringle - Reporter/Anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Lifeguards at Jacksonville Beach are working extra hard this holiday to keep everyone safe. Between 80,000 and 100,000 people will have visited the beaches at any given time, according to lifeguards.

However, Capt. Max Ervanian with the Jacksonville Beach lifeguard group said people aren't the hardest part of the job.

"The hardest thing to battle for us lifeguards would be fatigue. We're out here on the beach some are out here on 12-hour days, some are out here on 10-hour days, we have some people that are assigned out here for 16-hour days," Ervanian said. 

Lifeguards say the top three issues they face while on the beach are medical and water calls and missing children and parents. 

Missing children can put the safety of everyone at risk. 

"Whenever we have a missing child that comes to the tower that always takes away a set of eyes looking at the water to protect bathers and beachgoers," said Ervanian. 

Lifeguards say their jobs are easier when beachgoers stay hydrated and are aware of their surroundings. 

"Although the conditions may seem calm, the beach is not a pool. The water in the ocean is not like a swimming pool. The beach is not a pool deck. There are always dangers in the water. You know the beach itself can have dangerous areas around it, such as slews, such as large potholes, so, we really want to remind beachgoers to be situationally aware," said Ervanian. 

And the lifeguards at Jax Beach say their training has prepared them for days like the Fourth of July.

"We're expecting it to be extremely hot. We're expecting to have no wind. We're expecting to deal with stressful situations as we are handling calls for service. So it's really important that we stay good, you know, we protect ourselves when it comes time to protect bathers and beachgoers," said Ervanian. 

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