Vero Beach Lifeguard Association Monthly Beach Report For March 2021

Jaycee Park / Humiston Park / South Beach Park

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 Attendance85,604
Preventative Actions913
Minor Medicals18
Major Medicals2
Rescues5
Average Water Temperature68
Beach ErosionMinimal
Stinging Marine LifeMinimal

General Conditions

March 2021 beach attendance did not break any attendance records (highest- 95,000 in 2018) since VBLA started tracking beach statistics in 2011.  In March beach attendance was surprisingly high even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Almost all beach patrons were from Florida or 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.  Beach grooming (the removal of seaweed from the beach) by the City has stopped because of turtle nesting season.  Some leatherback sea turtle nests have appeared.  The ocean water temperature has bottomed out at 68 degrees.  Lifeguards responded to 20 medical calls of which 2 were serious enough that EMS was called.  Most of the minor medical calls were from man-o-war stings, bumps and bruises.  City lifeguards rescued 5 people from rip currents in March bringing the total number of water rescues to 6 in 2021.                 

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. 

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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