December 2015 Beach Report

vero-beach-lifeguards   STATISTICS Total Park Attendance 54,722 Preventative Actions 1,120 Minor Medicals 35 Major Medicals 1 Rescues 2 Average Water Temperature 78 Beach Erosion Moderate Stinging Marine Life Moderate General Conditions Ocean temperatures were unseasonably warm in December because of the unusually high air temperatures. Sustained southeast winds have pushed in Portuguese Man-o-War and plenty of seaweed onto the beach. A normal amount of shark sightings have been reported; mostly black tip and spinner sharks. South Beach Park was closed on a particular day for a few hours because of a larger bull shark. The beach saw about 14,000 more visitors in December than in November. The City has been grooming the beach since the end of turtle nesting season in November and will continue to do so until April. Lifeguards rescued 2 swimmers from rip currents in December bringing the total number of rescues in 2015 to 39. All swimmers are advised to pay close attention to beach condition flags, swim near lifeguard towers and avoid swimming during non-guarded beach hours. Areas of Concern As Portuguese Man-o-War washed ashore, some unknowing patrons touched them and were stung. These “siphonophores” (they are not jellyfish) can transfer their venom days after washing ashore. The best remedies for these stings are hot, soapy water, heat and/or a combination of water and vinegar in solution. Treating the sting with fresh water causes more poison to be released into the body. Although beach grooming provides an aesthetically pleasing appearance, removing seaweed prohibits natural dune growth and eliminates food sources for birds, insects and crabs. Dog owners continue to bring their dogs to the beach parks causing unhealthy conditions. The City of Vero Beach prohibits dogs, excluding service dogs, on any of the beach parks. Central Beach, the beach from The Driftwood Inn to Vero Beach Hotel and Spa remains unguarded. VBLA continues to stress that the public should swim at or near one of the three guarded beaches the City of Vero Beach provides. Many individuals and families are on the beach far from a guarded area and/or in the water after lifeguards leave at 5pm. VBLA encourages patrons to swim at a guarded beach during lifeguard hours and understand the potential life threatening conditions that exist in the ocean. Key Park Attendance: includes areas immediately north and south of each park Preventative Actions: stopping potential incidents before they occur Minor Medicals: a medical incident which is treated on-site by lifeguard/EMT Major Medicals: a medical incident that required Emergency Medical Services. About VBLA This report is furnished by the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, a non-profit, 501C3 organization. Its mission is to promote water safety and lifeguarding in Vero Beach and the surrounding communities. Contact us at VeroBeachLA@Yahoo.com or (908)797-8725. Visit us at www.VBLA.org. Donations are appreciated. Monies raised are used to purchase equipment, supplies, staffing and training for the lifeguards from the city of Vero Beach. Please send donations to: VBLA, 1351 White Heron Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32963.
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