VERO BEACH - According to the latest report from the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, November beach attendance set a new record.
The monthly count for Jaycee Park, Humiston Park, and South Beach Park totaled 60,170, surpassing the previous November record of 55,000 set back in 2017.
Two people were rescued from rip currents, bringing the 2019 total number of water rescues to 21. There were also 1,002 preventative actions, defined as stopping potential incidents before they occur.
There were 16 medical emergencies, including five that required transportation to the hospital. Stinging marine life was minimal and beach erosion moderate. The average water temperature was 74 degrees.
The VBLA is still trying to raise funds for a new lifeguard tower and command center at Humiston Park. For an estimated total of $272,100, of which the city of Vero Beach has pledged $75,000, the tower’s elevated views will help lifeguards see more of the beach and react faster to emergencies.
The new tower will provide the lifeguards with shelter from the elements and a command center to monitor weather, surf, and crowd conditions. It will also have room for training and meetings.
To highlight the need, the VBLA produced a funny video that was submitted to the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The three minute appeal for support can be viewed at vbla.org/ellen-alert/.
The VBLA continues to be concerned about people bringing dogs on the beach. It is against city ordinance unless the dog is an assistance animal. The dogs pose a hazard to sea turtle nests.
Those who wish to bring their dog to the beach have that option in Indian River Shores, but there are strictly enforced regulations, and you must get a special license from the town Public Safety Department before bringing your dog to the beach. Violations include fines from $50-$500 and even imprisonment for repeat offenders, so compliance is strongly recommended.
An application for a license to bring a dog on the beach in Indian River Shores may be obtained from and filed with the Indian River Shores Public Safety Department, 6001 N. A1A, Indian River Shores. Hours are Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, call (772) 231-2451.
For information about the effort to build a new Vero Beach lifeguard tower and how you can help, visit www.vbla.org/vbla-humiston-tower-headquarters-design/.