Monthly Beach Report – May 2017
Jaycee Park / Humiston Park / South Beach Park
Total Park Attendance: 74,323
Preventative Actions: 1,108
Minor Medicals: 19
Major Medicals: 2
Average Water Temperature: 70
Beach Erosion: Minimal
Stinging Marine Life: Moderate
For approximately two weeks in May, natural occurring “upwelling” (caused where wind blows along a coastline. The wind causes the water to move perpendicular to it, away from the coast, because of a process called Ekman transport. When surface water moves away from the coast, water from deeper in the ocean rises up and takes its place) caused ocean temperatures to drop from the upper 70’s to the low 60’s. Sea turtle nesting was very active. Humiston Beach Park saw more attendees (28,000) than South Beach Park (24,000) for the first time since VBLA has been tracking attendance. South Beach Park has been the most popular beach for decades. Attendance at the beach seems to be spreading out, away from the guarded areas, essentially filling in the areas between South, Humiston and JC Beach Parks most likely due to parking issues. There were 2 water rescues in May bringing the total number of swimmers rescued from rip currents in 2017 is 6. Many dog owners continue to bring their dogs onto the beach parks which is a violation of City ordinances. Alcohol consumption on the beach is on the rise, especially outside the guarded areas. 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
VBLA produced and is in the process of distributing its Beach Safety Video to hotels, schools and civic organizations. With support from the City of Vero Beach, the video can be seen on COVB.org under the Recreation Department tab and at VBLA.org. VBLA hopes that more people will take the time to watch the video and education themselves prior to coming to the beach.
Areas of Concern
With beach goers filling in the spaces between the guarded areas of South, Humiston and JC Parks, more patrons are not under the watchful eye of lifeguards and are involved in illegal activities (alcohol and drugs). Dog owners continue to ignore City ordinances by bringing their dogs on to City beach parks. VBLA recommends that the Vero Beach Police Department start weekend beach patrols to combat these activities and protect our family-friendly environment.
Even though conditions may seem pleasant and inviting, beach patrons must realize that our ocean can be a wild and unforgiving place. Lifeguards recommend that everyone who visits the beach read the condition signs posted at each lifeguard tower, know the meaning of the condition flags that are flying and ask questions of our lifeguards to determine if venturing out into the water is prudent.
In addition, many individuals and families are on the beach far from a guarded area and/or in the water after lifeguards leave at 5pm. VBLA recommends that the City of Vero Beach recognize the essential role lifeguards play in protecting the very essence of Vero Beach, our beaches, by extending lifeguard hours to 7pm to address this safety issue.
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 VeroBeachLA@Yahoo.com or (908)797-8725. Visit 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.