South Beach Park
To promote lifeguarding and water safety in Vero Beach and the surrounding communities
|Total Park Attendance||73,011|
|Average Water Temperature||73|
|Stinging Marine Life||Moderate|
April 2021 beach attendance did not set any attendance records (Lowest – 29,400 in 2020, highest- 86,000 in 2018) since VBLA started tracking beach statistics in 2011. In April beach attendance was surprisingly high even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all beach patrons were from Florida, the Northeast and Midwest. 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. Beach erosion has been minimal. The high ledge of sand along the beach has been eroded down and is much more navigable to the public. Areas around South Beach and sections of Jaycee Beach continue to see strong rip currents and flash rips. Sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. A few Leatherback and Loggerhead sea turtle nests have appeared. The ocean water temperature is starting to rise into the mid 70’s. Lifeguards responded to 25 medical calls of which 5 were serious enough that EMS had to be called. There were no fatalities. Most of the minor medical calls were from man-o-war stings, bumps and bruises. City lifeguards rescued 2 people from rip currents in April bringing the total number of water rescues to 8 in 2021.
The Humiston Park bathrooms and the Conn Beach boardwalk are being renovated. Both projects are projected to be completed in June of this year.
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. It is strongly recommended that beach patrons talk to the lifeguards about these problem 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, Humiston 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.
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.
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.