DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Plenty of people spent the Easter holiday weekend at the beach. Sunday morning, some of the biggest crowds in Volusia County were in Daytona Beach for a sunrise Easter service.
"People really enjoy watching the sunrise, and celebrating Easter with the ocean, waves, being a beach community, it's really special to celebrate outside together," said Fr. Phil Egitto, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
Later on, they even performed baptisms in the waves, and those babies weren't the only ones taking-in the sun. Beach goers like Wyat Ripke, visiting from Archbold, OH, started showing-up bright and early. "I love the sand and the water's pretty nice," he said.
Officials were warning that conditions are dangerous in the water. The red flag has been flying at Volusia County beaches. "Yesterday we did have numerous water rescues. I think we ended the day with about 28 rescues," said Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Laura Warner, "the water's been very dangerous, we have a high rip current risk, so we're flying the red flag today."
Experts say if a rip current is dragging you out to sea, never turn around and swim straight back. Instead, swim parallel to the shore to get out of the rip current's grip and then swim back to the beach.
Capt. Warner said they were fully-staffed for this weekend. She said it was important for everyone to swim safely. "The biggest thing we want to tell people is always swim in front of a staffed lifeguard tower. If they don't know where they're going to be staffed, they can always call one of our stations and find out where the closest tower is going to be."