Lifeguards warn beachgoers ahead of hurricane-strengthened swells

Brevard County Ocean Rescue plans on flying double red flags from their lifeguard towers this weekend, after forecasts call for ocean swells to top nine feet in height.

The strengthening surf is powered by Hurricane Joaquin out in the Atlantic, and lifeguards say it could exacerbate a problem they are already seeing here: Surfers getting separated from their boards by powerful waves.

"It's been our number rescue", says Brevard County Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi.

"A surfer falls, the leash breaks and the board gets all the way to shore, and they are stuck in the impact zone," he siad. "We've been dealing with that, and we've had some pretty close calls with people who have lost their board."

Scabarozi says lifeguards have rescued 18 surfers in the past two days, all of whom were separated from their surf board by the unusually powerful waves.