PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Pensacola Beach Lifeguards are returning to their towers on March 1, for the 2023 lifeguard season.

Escambia County said in a release, initially, one to three towers at Casino Beach will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, shifting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Sunday, March 12.

As summer approaches, staffing will increase to provide coverage at up to 10 towers, including the towers at Gulf Islands National Seashore, which begin staffing Memorial Day weekend,” The county said in the release.

In preparation for the 2023 season, Pensacola Beach hired 14 new lifeguards and welcomed 36 returning lifeguards to a training program, including over 60 hours of open water training, emergency medical training and more. On Saturday, March 18, the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards will host a tryout in an effort to bring on more qualified lifeguards.

Last season, the county said Pensacola Beach Lifeguards performed 98 rescues from drowning and 115 assists to swimmers experiencing moderate distress. They also attended to 54 major medical incidents and assisted 30 patients with EMS transport. Lifeguards made contact with beachgoers over 150,000 times during the 2022 season, providing information about rip currents, beach condition flags and other safety tips.

“Our lifesaving team is prepared to prevent and respond to all unknown events that may occur in this amazing and wonderful part of our world,” Water Safety Chief Dave Greenwood said.

Public Safety encourages residents and visitors to follow all Pensacola Beach rules and exercise caution when visiting the beach and swimming in the Gulf, especially when lifeguards are not present:                             

  • Follow the posted beach condition flag warnings. 
  • Check beach conditions before you go at or on the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards Facebook page. Beach conditions can also be found 24/7 at Ask MyEscambia mobile-responsive webpage.
  • Know how to escape from a rip current. 
  • Glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
  • The west side of the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is an alcohol-free zone.
  • Open containers are not allowed off the boardwalk or outside any establishment.
  • No alcohol can be consumed in any parking lot on Santa Rosa Island.
  • Dogs other than service animals are not permitted on any beaches except in designated dog parks.