Manatee County announces summer beach lifeguard hours, urges beachgoers to ‘Swim near a lifeguard’

  • Jun 7, 2016

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (May 27, 2016) – Manatee County Marine Rescue Division tomorrow begins new extended summer hours, and urged beachgoers to always swim near a lifeguard. Marine Rescue is joining the United States Lifesaving Association-Southeast Region and the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association in a campaign to educate beachgoers to “Swim near a lifeguard.”

In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of injury or death for people under the age of 15. Nationwide, drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death.

 

“Manatee’s beautiful beaches are generally calm, but people should always stay vigilant about the water conditions,” said Marine Rescue Chief Joe Westerman. “Fast-moving currents and rip currents can challenge even the best swimmers.”

 

Coquina Beach and Manatee Public Beach are the only beaches in Manatee County that provide beachgoers with professional lifeguard and medical rescue services.  This weekend, beach lifeguard hours are extended from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Extended summer patrol hours will continue through the Friday, Sept. 9, the Friday following Labor Day.  During the rest of the year, the lifeguard patrol ends at 5 p.m.

 

Swimming areas are designated by buoys to provide a safe haven for swimmers, free of boats and other water craft.  Swimmers should take care, however, to remain within these areas. Lifeguard towers post information boards denoting current beach conditions and also use a warning flag system to alert patrons of relative safety levels.

 

Although the lifeguards are stationed at these two beaches, they are also dispatched by 911 operators to water emergencies along our waterways and beaches, so you will see them at various locations on and off the sand. Lifeguards work continually to identify hazards that might affect beachgoers.

 

Beachgoers can also check daily beach conditions on Twitter @MCGPublicSafety before heading out for a swim. 

 

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.