Vero Beach Lifeguard Association Monthly Beach Report for September 2020

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 Attendance45,569
Preventative Actions799
Minor Medicals21
Major Medicals1
Rescues1
Average Water Temperature82
Beach ErosionModerate
Stinging Marine LifeModerate

*Does not include extended hours statistics

General Conditions

September 2020 beach attendance did not break any attendance records (record high 2013-47,000, record low 2017–32,000).  The COVID-19 pandemic along with numerous showers and large waves may have kept people off the beach.  Over the years, VBLA has noticed that beach patrons are spreading out along our four miles of City beach.  We have seen a steady migration away from guarded areas, filling in the approximately one mile distance between each of the three lifeguard towers.  It is to be noted that beach attendance is taken within the guarded beaches (200 yards each) and 50 yards north and south of each tower.  Patrons outside these areas are not counted in our report.  Moderate beach erosion has occurred especially around the south end of Conn Beach and the hotel district at Central Beach.  Tides, winds and currents have smoothed out the two-tier shelf dunes on most of our beach.  Afternoon thunderstorms were prevalent in September.  Sea turtle nesting and hatchings are winding down for the season.  Beach grooming (the removal of seaweed from the beach) stopped at the end of April and will resume once turtle nesting season is over on October 31st.  The ocean water temperature has dropped to 82 degrees.  Lifeguards responded to 22 medical calls during the regular 9am to 5pm shift of which 1 was serious enough to require EMS transport.  During the extended hours from 5pm to 7pm, lifeguards responded to 1 medical call.  Lifeguards rescued 1 person from a rip current during the month of September bringing the total number of water rescues in 2020 to 29.  A summary of extended hours statistics is provided in the chart below.         

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

Lifeguards started extended hours during Memorial Day weekend on Sunday May 24th and ended the service on Saturday, September 12th.     

EXTENDED HOURS (5-7pm) STATISTICS – 9/1-9/12
Total Park Attendance6,130
Preventative Actions115
Minor Medicals1
Major Medicals0
Rescues0
EXTENDED HOURS SUMMARYMay 24 – September 12
MayJuneJulyAugustSeptember
Attendance3,28518,47514,11513,1606,130
PA82406519326115
Minor02531
Major02210
Rescues00100

Volunteers from VBLA have installed orange and white marker buoys on the Prefabricated Erosion Prevention (PEP) reef which extends 3000 feet 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 along a very popular section of beach.  Unfortunately, many of the buoys have been dislodged by rough surf.  We hope to install more buoys when weather permits and supplies become available.      

We hope the public understands the need to discontinue beach grooming during turtle nesting season.  Seaweed left on the beach helps to strengthen and protect our shoreline.    

With help from Idea Garden, 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. 

Areas of Concern

Many dog owners are violating the rules for allowing dogs on the beach.       

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

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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