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Spring break brings tons of fun in the sun, but safety is most important measure

2 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago Friday, March 08 2024 Mar 8, 2024 March 08, 2024 5:23 PM March 08, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE Spring break is here, and authorities are already taking precautions to ensure visitor safety.

With so much to do during spring break, people tend to forget the dangers that can come with travelling to beaches in Florida and beyond. There's an estimated 4,000 unintentional drownings per year. 

"Our job is prevention, education and rescue," South Walton Fire District Beach Safety Lieutenant Brandon Brown said. 

Brown encourages all visitors to educate themselves on safety measures to ensure a fun and enjoyable trip.

One major tip he provided was to alert officials if someone is in danger. Don't try to be a hero, he said, because more times than not the attempted rescuer is the person that ends up dead rather than the initial victim.

Brown also stressed the importance of knowing what to do during a rip current. Around 80% of drownings in America are from rip currents. If caught in one, remain calm; currents don't pull you under water. It's also important not to try and swim against the current.

The best way to free yourself from a current is by swimming in a direction that follows the shoreline or towards breaking waves. After this, swim at an angle towards to the beach.

"The Gulf of Mexico or any open body of water is not a pool," Brown said.

Beach goers should not swim in the ocean like its YMCA, he added..

Another thing visitors tend to forget is to hydrate. No matter what you're drinking, always have water, Brown stressed. It's also important to apply sunscreen, even when it's cool outside.

Brown encouraged all parents to have a picture of their children handy in the event they go missing. That way, officials have a visual to safely locate the child.

In any aspect of danger, call 911, and maintain a visual on the victim.

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