Fernandina Lifeguards Open Beaches
Fernandina Lifeguards Open Beaches
The Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department would like to announce our start to the summer season on the beautiful beaches of Fernandina Beach. Beginning this weekend (May 1, 2010), our beaches will be guarded by the Fernandina Beach Ocean Rescue Lifeguards. The Ocean Rescue Division of the Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue Department employs approximately 25 seasonal Ocean Rescue lifeguards each year. We staff the beaches on weekends starting Shrimp Festival weekend (May 1st and 2nd, 2010) until Memorial Day (May 31st 2010). After Memorial Day we protect the beaches 7 days a week throughout the summer and conclude on Labor Day (September 6th, 2010). Our hours are from 10am – 5pm on weekends and 11am – 5pm on weekdays.

Ocean Rescue maintains one Lifeguard stand at North Beach Park (located on North Fletcher), three stands at Main Beach and two stands at Seaside Park. Lifeguards patrol and respond to the 6.64 miles of beach from Fort Clinch State Park south to beach access 40 which encompasses Fernandina Beach City limits. During the summer of 2009 there were approximately 191,000 beach goers attending our beaches. During that time Ocean Rescue Lifeguards performed 218 rescues and attended to 112 medical aids. To learn more about Ocean Rescue please visit us at www.fbfl.us.

Beach Warning Flags
Beach Warning Flags

Beach Safety Tips
*Learn to swim.
*Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard & never swim alone.
*Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
*Check the surf conditions before you enter the water.
*Children or inexperienced swimmers should take precautions, such as wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) when around the water.
*Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth changes, and hazardous marine life.
*Use a feet-first entry when entering the water.
*Do not mix alcohol with swimming.
*Protect your skin, Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15.
*Drink plenty of water regularly and often even if you do not feel thirsty.
*Watch for signs of heat exhaustion.
*Wear eye protection
*Wear foot protection. Many times, people’s feet can get burned from the sand or cut from glass in the sand.
*Watch the weather: Know local weather conditions and prepare for electrical storms.
*Never leave a child unobserved around water.
*Don’t rely on substitutes. The use of flotation devices and inflatable toys cannot replace parental supervision.

Rip Currents
Rip Currents

The most common problem that swimmers encounter is getting caught in a Rip Current. Rip currents are powerful currents of water that flow away from shore, and can occur at any beach with breaking waves. They typically extend from shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents are killers. They account for 80% of rescues performed by ocean lifeguards, according to the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA).

Nationally, lifeguards rescue approximately 60,000 people from drowning each year, and an estimated 80 percent are caused by rip currents