Beach crowds enjoy 3-day weekend

By Chris Robbins - Producer

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - It was a busy Sunday at Jacksonville Beach as people enjoyed the final hoorah of summer. People packed the beach, restaurants and bars to get that last taste of the season. 

It was a slow yet steady crowd at Lynch's Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach, but employees said it's the quiet before the storm.

"You give it a three-day weekend and it's going to be busy," said bartender Matthew Mrochek. "Sun goes down, it's a little bit of a different scene. Nobody has to go to work tomorrow, so tonight we have Who Rescued Who performing."

It was a different story across the street as thousands lined the sandy beaches and walked the sidewalks.

"You've got a 95 degree day, sunny, no clouds in the sky. Why else wouldn't you be on the beach instead of inside?" said Mrochek

Logan Martin and his friend used an umbrella to protect themselves from the sun. Lifeguards said it's important to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated, and they said if you are going to drink, do it responsibly, especially if swimming is on your agenda.

"Alcohol is automatically going to dehydrate you," said Timothy Kline, lieutenant with American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps. "Compound that with being out in the sun and not being able to escape the heat, the shade can only take it down so much. Then you're getting into the ocean, so you're kind of setting yourself up for failure, so to speak."

He said it's critical beachgoers pay attention and listen to the lifeguards, who are trying to keep you out of danger. Kline also said rip currents can take even a good swimmer far out, so swimmers are urged to stay calm and swim parallel to the shore. 

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