WEAR - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Most beach rescues are from rip currents

The yellow flag was flying high Friday afternoon here on Pensacola Beach.

Lifeguards say they rescued about 5 people, but say that's typical on days like this.

Once the stormy weather cleared up a bit,  people made their way to the beach, but the surf was still rough.
That did not stop people from taking a dip in the Gulf.

"I got in right about the waist. That's about all I'll do," said Scott Dove, who is visiting from Georgia.

Dove is only here for a couple of days, and wants to make the most of his vacation.
But he's keeping an eye on his kids.

"Just keeping them in this little zone here," said Dove.

While some people choose to stay out of the water, conditions like this are what surfers hope for.

"That's what it's all about for us. It's the ocean, the bigger the better. For younger folks, they should stay out because it's not that safe," said Brett Smith. 

Lifeguards say it's not the strong surf, but rip currents that cause the most problems for swimmers.

Eighty percent of rescues are usually because someone gets caught in a rip current.

Lifeguards prevent that from happening, by warning people if they're getting too close to a rip current.

"That's the biggest challenge is education. And once we educate them they pretty much understand where to swim, but we do ask them to come up to us, especially out of towners, to see where the best place to swim is," said Andrew Edwards, senior lifeguard.

Lifeguards are also warning people to be mindful of which flag is up. They're expecting dangerous conditions during the next few days.

"Towards the end of next week we can possibly see 10 foot seas. So we're warning people if you see a red flag, don't even go in the water," said Edwards. 

And even if the green flag is flying, lifeguards say you still need to watch out for rip currents.
Your best bet is to stay next to a lifeguard tower whenever you're at the beach.