Vero Beach Lifeguard Association Monthly Beach Report for May 2019

Monthly Beach Report

For Jaycee Park, Humiston Park, South Beach Park

Our Mission:

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




Total Park Attendance 88,280

Preventative Actions 1292

Minor Medicals 21

Major Medicals 3

Rescues 2

Average Water Temperature 80

Beach Erosion Minimal

Stinging Marine Life Moderate

 *Does not include extended hours statistics

General Conditions

May 2019 beach attendance set a new May record with 88,280 visitors shattering the old record of 74,323 set in May 2017.  Prevalent easterly winds have contributed to some Portuguese Man-O-War washing ashore and large amounts of seaweed being deposited on the beach.  The ocean water temperature has quickly risen to 80 degrees. Many more sea turtle nests were created compared to the previous month. Lifeguards responded to 24 medical calls of which 3 were serious enough that the patients were transported to the hospital.  Lifeguards rescued 1 person from a rip current bringing the total number of rip current rescues to 9 in 2019. Lifeguards also rescued a person from an overturned kayak near the Steamship Breconshire wreck. Volunteers from the VBLA installed marker buoys on the PEP reef which runs along Central Beach.  All three guarded beaches within the City limits started extended hours on Sunday, May 26th. Lifeguards will be on duty from 9am to 7pm during the summer.     

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

City of Vero Beach lifeguards, Indian River County Fire/Rescue, Vero Beach Police Department and Indian River Shores Public Safety are organizing some multi agency beach emergency training exercises during the summer.

Lifeguards started extended hours on May 26th.  They will be on duty until 7pm during the summer months which will keep our beaches safer.

Total Park Attendance3147
Preventative Actions17
Minor Medicals2
Major Medicals0

Orange marker buoys have been installed on the Prefabricated Erosion Prevention (PEP) reef which extends from Humiston Park to The Village Spires along Central Beach.  These buoys may prevent swimmers from being injured by the reef as it is located within the surf zone at a very popular section of beach.

With help from Idea Garden, Waldo’s, Minuteman Press, Coastal Technology Corporation, Hoos Architects, Mills Short Engineers, Farrow Construction, City of Vero Beach Recreation Department, 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 is progressing.

Areas of Concern

Some patrons are complaining about the amount of seaweed on the beach.  Seaweed is a natural occurrence and part of a healthy beach ecology. Removal of the seaweed may weaken the beach’s foundation, prevent the formation of protective dunes and increase beach erosion.  

Some dog owners are bringing their dogs on the beach.  It is against City ordinances to bring dogs on any of the City’s beach parks 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.

As beach attendance grows more people are outside the guarded areas increasing the likelihood of accidents and drownings.  


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 or (908)797-8725.  Visit us at  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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