Over the long memorial day weekend in the United States, there was an increase in the number of people flocking over to the beach for a swim and to surf. The crowded beaches and rough waves led to over 30 water rescues and more than 300 total responses by the St. Johns County Fire Rescue. Despite all of that going on, the rescue team was able to prevent accidents involving critical or fatal injuries from occurring.
“Our lifeguards do a great job warning people. We were fortunate. We had over 30 rescues, but we were able to get everyone in safely,” stated Jeremy Robshaw, the spokesman of St. Johns County Fire Rescue. In fact, it was a rather busy weekend for all county beach workers due to the large crowds and the start of the beach season. The weather also played a role in the massive turnout. For the safety of the beach goers, red flags were placed during all three days of the Memorial Day weekend. These flags were used to indicate dangerous rip currents.
“I will say this weekend was particularly busy. (There were) unfavorable surf conditions. We had some wind and current causing more rip currents,” said Jeremy. This is actually quite a common issue, especially for North Florida beaches. Also, these dangerous currents are usually the cause of drowning when swimmers panic, get impaired in some way or end up in waters that they are unable to handle.
Jeremy was proud of the actions of the beach personnel as they were able to prevent tragedies from occurring. “They’re trained and prepared for those kinds of events. It’s a very coordinated effort from all the agencies. I think all of those agencies played a part,” added Jeremy, who praised the Fire Rescue, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and St. Johns County Beach Services. According to him, aside from the rescues made, there were also 27 emergency medical calls, 15 missing persons calls and a total of 340 calls. “One of biggest things we deal with is missing children. We urge parents to keep close watch on children at all times,” he reminded. For more of the story and tips on swimming at the beach, you can read it from here.
In Singapore, swimming lessons are available in all public swimming pools. However, knowing how to swim does not mean that one is immune from drowning. That is a very common misconception that most individuals have. Happy Fish Swim School would like to remind all swimmers to take precaution when swimming in the open waters and to make sure a lifeguard is on duty before deciding to do so.