Pensacola Beach adds more lifeguards for busy Memorial Day weekend

Local News

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — As thousands of people head to the beaches this holiday weekend, lifeguards are reminding people to keep six feet distance but there are other dangers to be mindful of.

There have been three drownings in the past week in Escambia County, Florida.

Tori Root just moved to the area from Virginia about a month ago and she said she and her friend stayed by themselves.

“We’re just at the beach staying away from people,” Root said.

Micah Venable is here from Louisiana, a COVID-19 hotspot, but catching the virus at the beach shouldn’t be your only concern.

“The waves were a little bad the further you went but we stayed further in,” Venable said. “It was all good. The water was cool.”

Purple flags were flying letting people know to beware of jellyfish and yellow flags mean there’s still a chance you could get caught in a rip current.

“Swim near a lifeguard,” Water Safety Deputy Chief Alex Johnson said. “Be mindful of the presence of rip currents. Make sure you know your own swimming ability.”

Johnson said they’ve increased staffing this weekend. There will be 35 lifeguards working.

“Be mindful of the sun and the heat,” Johnson said. “We’ve had quite a number of heat exhaustions lately.”

The large Pride events that typically happen here Memorial Day weekend have been canceled.

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