Monthly Beach Report September 2017
Jaycee Park / Humiston Park / South Beach Park
Total Park Attendance 32000
Preventative Actions 667
Minor Medicals 44
Major Medicals 2
Average Water Temperature 80
Beach Erosion Extreme
Stinging Marine Life Heavy
Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, Lee and Irma devastated most people’s plans to go to the beach. September 2017 had the lowest beach attendance of any September since VBLA started tracking statistic in 2011. Beach erosion was extreme as Irma washed out dunes and some beach accesses. Tons of seaweed and an innumerable amount of plastics and garbage have washed onto the beach. JC tower remains without a ramp and slightly tilted as high tides continue to wash underneath the tower. At high tide, Humiston park beach was sometimes impassable due to storm surges and the King Tides. The topography of the beach has changed dramatically as sand was pulled from the beach into the water creating dangerous rip currents, breaks in the sand bar and drop offs. Large pieces of wood and other dangerous debris littered the water. Many sea turtle nests were washed away. Lifeguards did not have any water rescues in September, however, a swimmer drown south of South Beach Park on Wednesday, September 13th. The swimmer was in the ocean a few days after Hurricane Irma when the water was very dangerous and there were no lifeguards on duty. All swimmers are advised to pay close attention to beach condition signs and flags, swim near lifeguard towers and avoid swimming during non-guarded beach hours.
Areas of Progress
During the search for the lost swimmer on Wednesday, September 13, Vero Beach Ocean Rescue, the Vero Beach Police Department, Indian River County Fire Rescue and the Indian River County Sherriff’s Department worked together feverishly in an attempt to locate the missing swimmer. Although unsuccessful in locating the victim, the entities coordinated well and did the best they could. After Irma, many beach clean-ups were conducted by individuals and organizations.
Areas of Concern
After hurricanes, many people flock to our beaches to assess the damage and observe the destructive force of Mother Nature. Unfortunately, many people ignored signs warning that there were no lifeguards on duty and dangerous conditions existed. As a result, a person drowned. These types of tragedies can be avoided if the public heeds the warning signs, closed park gates and other obvious signs of danger at our beaches. VBLA also recommends that the City of Vero Beach prioritize the recovery efforts and get lifeguards back to watching the water as soon as possible.
Park Attendance: includes 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
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, staffing and training for the lifeguards from the city of Vero Beach. Please send donations to: VBLA, 1351 White Heron Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32963.