VERO BEACH ― According to the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, the city of Vero Beach has agreed to extend the hours lifeguards are present at the city’s three guarded beaches for the summer.
Starting Sunday, May 26, Memorial Day weekend, lifeguard hours will be extended from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at South Beach, Humiston Park, and Jaycee Park.
The Vero Beach Lifeguard Association praised the move.
“Many people go to the beach at 5 p.m. after getting off work,” said Erik Toomsoo, president of the VBLA. “Sunset is not until 8 or 9 p.m. Most of the drownings within the city limits have occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., most notably a Vero Beach High School student who drowned near Jaycee Park shortly after 5 p.m. when lifeguards went home for the evening.”
In March 2015, VBHS student Jonathan Threewitts, a 17-year old varsity wrestler and football player, was swept away by the current to his death near Jaycee Beach Park, after lifeguards had gone off duty but before 7 p.m.
“The extended summer hours mirror Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Lantana and other South Florida municipalities who have extended lifeguard hours either seasonally or year around,” said Mr. Toomsoo. “The VBLA would like to thank the City of Vero Beach City Council for their proactive approach to public safety.”
For more information about the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association and local beaches, visit vbla.org.