SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Memorial Day Weekend is a time many Americans use for enjoying the outdoors, and for Panhandle residents, that often includes time on the beaches. However, South Walton Fire District’s Beach Safety Division is encouraging everyone to keep a few safety tips in mind over the weekend.
Beach Safety Director David Vaughan stressed his lifeguards are ready for the potential increase in people on the beaches, but also asks anyone in the area be situationally aware and understand their surroundings.
He added beach-goers should be aware of their own abilities when it comes to swimming and not to underestimate rip currents or the Gulf of Mexico’s rapidly changing conditions.
Swimmers who feel they are in distress should place one arm up in the air as a signal to emergency personnel, Vaughan said.
Furthermore, the Beach Safety Division asks anyone who notices something that makes them feel uncomfortable to “call it out,” by calling 911 or local authorities.
When it comes to protecting young children, parents are encouraged to take a picture of their child to have the most updated information possible and to alert the nearest lifeguard or first responder if a child is missing.
Regardless of outdoor environment, Vaughan said staying hydrated and applying sunscreen often are major keys for protecting oneself in the summer weather.
Lifeguards also will be stationed in their towers and able to answer questions for anyone in need of assistance. Find out more about South Walton Fire District lifeguard locations, the beach warning flag system, beach rules and other relevant information using Visit South Walton’s website.
CDC guidelines remain in place for groups no larger than 10 and keeping 6 feet of distance between parties.
Watch the segment above from News 13 This Morning to learn more.