Vero Beach Lifeguard Association Monthly Beach Report for December 2019

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 Attendance51,562
Preventative Actions820
Minor Medicals26
Major Medicals1
Rescues3
Fatalities0
Average Water Temperature70
Beach ErosionMinimal
Stinging Marine LifeModerate

General Conditions

Attendance was lower compared to previous Decembers (2018 December record of 85,500) mainly because of rainy weather during the last two weeks of December and the beach renourishment project which started in November at the north end of the City limits near Jaycee and Conn beaches closing off entire sections of beach.  There were 27 medical emergencies on the beach of which 1 was a serious spinal injury due to patron turning his back on a wave which slammed him into the sand at South Beach Park in early December. The majority of the minor medical emergencies were from man-o-war stings. 3 people were rescued from rip currents bringing the total number of water rescues in 2019 to 24. The average ocean water temperature dropped to 70 degrees.  All of the artificial reef buoys on the PEP reef along Central Beach have washed away. Volunteers from the VBLA will attempt to attach some of the buoys if and when the conditions will allow.    

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 Progress

Lifeguard extended hours during the summer provided more safety on the beach by preventing some accidents from occurring.  The City has budgeted for extended hours next summer and is considering extending the hours during more months of the year.     

The City of Vero Beach has pledged $75,000 to help build the House of Refuge Lifeguard Tower and Command Center at Humiston Park.    With help from Coastal Technology Corporation, Hoos Architects, Mills Short and Associates Engineering and Farrow Construction, VBLA’s goal of giving our lifeguards the ability to see more of the beach and react to emergencies faster by building a facility at Humiston Park is progressing.

The VBLA has produced a fun and quirky video called “ELLEN ALERT” which was submitted to the Ellen DeGeneres Show.  This 3 minute video “summons” our local lifeguards to the beach. They drop what they are doing and assemble to ask for help for funding of the House of Refuge Lifeguard Tower and Command Center at Humiston Park from Ellen.  We ask the public to watch and share the video on vbla.org, YouTube and FaceBook.   

Areas of Concern

MANY dog owners are bringing their dogs to the beach parks.  It is against City ordinances to bring dogs on any of the City’s beach parks including the Jaycee/Conn boardwalk or traverse over public beach accesses with dogs unless the dog is a “handicap assisted” animal.  Many dogs are off their leashes which pose a hazard to beach patrons and sea turtle nests. Those who falsely identify their dogs as service animals negatively affect people who legitimately need their dogs for medical or emotional aid.            

As the popularity of Vero Beach grows more people are outside the guarded areas and swimming when lifeguards are not present.   

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, kite boarding 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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