It’s been almost two weeks since a new set of lifeguards stepped foot on the sands of Panama City Beach and already they are getting some positive attention.
The Tourist Development Council has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation.
“I think we’ve realized already how important lifeguards are due to Memorial Day. I mean, they were out, I think they saved a lot of people from getting in serious trouble,” said Mike Nelson, Bay County Commissioner.
The grant was presented to the TDC this morning at the Bay County Commission meeting.
The money will help fund startup costs of the beach’s enhanced lifeguard program. With this grant, the TDC has allocated $300,000 toward funding five lifeguard stations to protect those enjoying the gulf waters and our beautiful beaches.
Commissioners say in the short time the lifeguards have been out on the beaches they’ve already proved their worth.
“They were very busy over the holiday weekend. A lot of lifesaving opportunities. I hate that folks were put in those situations, but it’s a good thing we had lifeguards out there because I venture to say some of those folks that were rescued, might very well not have been had we not had those people, those lifeguards in place,” said Guy Tunnell, Bay County Commissioner.
This is the largest grant the Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation has ever given out.
In addition to lifeguards at the City Peir, they are now at the County Pier and Rick Seltzer Park as well.