JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Hitting the beach can be a great way to beat the heat -- but Jacksonville Beach lifeguards have a warning for families before hitting the sand.
Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue is reporting a record number of calls for service and is advising beachgoers to be careful in the water.
On Saturday, June 25, lifeguards responded to 56, a record number for June. Even though red flags were flying, several people still spent a day at the beach, resulting in a record number of calls.
This is the first summer without the volunteer lifeguards which means professional lifeguards are working more.
The breakdown of calls is as follows:
- Distress Swimmers Total: 4
- Distress Vessels Total: 1
- Preventative Contacts: 2
- Preventative Response: 23
Non-Water Related: 26
- EMS: 2
- Vehicle Patrols: 20
- Missing Persons Reunited: 1
After-Hours Response: 1
Captain Rob Emahiser, the Ocean Rescue Division’s Captain said, “Despite the increase in dangerous conditions, the highly populated beach day, and the record number of calls-for-service, I would call this day a success. We had no fatal drownings and quick incident response times to all calls for- service. I am very proud of these professional ocean rescue lifeguards who worked on Saturday.”
Double red flags mean the beach is closed to the public. Lifeguards told News4JAX that red flags were out this past Saturday, and that set a record for the month of June.
If swimmers get caught in a rip current they are advised to stay calm, not swim against the rip current -- swimming parallel to shore along the beach instead. It’s always advised that when swimming in the water, do it near a lifeguard.