Vero Beach Lifeguard Association Beach Report for January 2021

Monthly Beach Report

Our Mission:

To promote lifeguarding and water safety in Vero Beach and the surrounding communities

Email:  VeroBeachLA@Yahoo.com  

Website:  www.VBLA.org

STATISTICS
Total Park Attendance54,105
Preventative Actions759
Minor Medicals8
Major Medicals2
Rescues0
Average Water Temperature68
Beach ErosionModerate
Stinging Marine LifeMinimal

General Conditions

January 2021 beach attendance did not break any attendance records (highest- 65,700 in 2019, lowest-36,000 in 2016 since VBLA started tracking beach statistics in 2011.  This month, beach attendance was low because of the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent cold temperatures.  Over the years, VBLA has noticed that beach patrons are spreading out along our four miles of City beach filling in the approximately one mile distance between each of the three lifeguard towers.  As a result, many of people who visit the beach are not counted in our attendance numbers.  Moderate beach erosion has occurred.  The erosion has formed a fairly high ledge along most of the shoreline.  This type of erosion and ledge formation most likely was formed by the beach re-nourishment sand that was trucked in last year.  The beach re-nourishment sand, tides, winds and currents have deposited a significant sandbar at South Beach and sections of Jaycee Beach causing strong rip currents in certain areas during the falling tides. On a falling tide, water receding through breaks in the sandbar produces powerful currents.  At South Beach Park there is a substantial slope to the water line making it difficult for lifeguards to see patrons who are at the shoreline. Beach grooming (the removal of seaweed from the beach) is ongoing through April.  The ocean water temperature has dropped into the high 60’s.  Lifeguards responded to 10 medical calls of which 2 were serious enough that EMS was dispatched.  Fortunately, lifeguards did not have to perform any water rescues during the month of January.            

All swimmers are advised to pay close attention to beach condition signs and flags, swim near lifeguard towers and avoid swimming during non-guarded hours.

Areas of Concern

The sandbar deposited at South and Jaycee Park beaches have produced powerful rip currents especially outside the guarded areas. The slope created a South Beach Park makes it difficult for lifeguards to see the waterline.  It is strongly recommended that beach patrons talk to the lifeguards about these areas prior to getting in the water.      

Many dog owners are violating the rules for allowing dogs on the beach and the prohibition of dogs in our three beach parks at Jaycee, Hermiston and South Beach.       

More people are on the beach outside the guarded areas increasing the likelihood of accidents and drownings.  

Areas of Progress

With help from Waldo’s, Minuteman Press, Coastal Technology Corporation, Hoos Architects, Mills Short Engineers, Farrow Construction, City of Vero Beach and City Council, VBLA’s goal of giving our lifeguards the ability to see more of the beach and react to emergencies faster by building a lifeguard tower and command center at Humiston Park will be a reality once we find a donor. 

Key

Park Attendance: an estimated count of park attendees to include boardwalks within each park and 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 personnel

Major Medicals:  a medical incident that required Emergency Medical Services

Rescues:  Any water-related emergency to include rip current rescues, fatigued swimmers, surfing, kiteboarding and/or boating accidents.

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, 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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Nikki Kalin

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