Council approves ordinance to bring flotation devices to beach

Local News

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — After passing a Beach Safety Ordinance at the beginning of August, the Panama City Beach City Council is adding more safety measures to the sandy beaches.

At Thursday night’s meeting, the council unanimously approved an ordinance that requires commercial huts on the beach to have Coast Guard approved flotation devices.

The ordinance also allows businesses along the beach to have their own type of floats they can sell. These, however, do not have to be Coast Guard approved.

City Councilman Paul Casto has a long history of water safety and believes this will help save lives.

“I’ve seen people that go in the water without anything and when you get out to someone that’s caught in the undercurrent, if you don’t have some type of flotation device with you, they will pull you down then you may have a double drowning,” Casto said.

He says these will help in times the minutes matter the most.

“If you have these flotation devices, there’s a better chance that these folks can hold on until help arrives and sometimes that takes a few minutes and a few minutes a lot of times is long enough,” Casto said.

The council also continued their discussion on adding lifeguards but no solutions were found.

The new ordinance will go into effect on March 1, 2020.

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