DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Arman Willabay says he knows what it's like getting caught in a rip current. "It was terrifying yeah," he said, "people had to come out on a boat and get us. We were 3/4 of a mile out!"
It's situations like his that Volusia County Beach Patrol is hoping to avoid, this Labor Day weekend. With the long holiday weekend in full swing, the beach patrol says they want everyone to have fun, but also stay safe.
"We've already noticed a significant uptick in our crowds coming down, even first thing this morning. Vehicle-wise, we have the pedestrians coming down and setting up tents and so forth, so we expect a bit of a busier day, today," said Volusia County Beach Patrol Capt. Laura Warner. The towers are staffed every day from 10 am to 6 pm. Beach patrol says always swim in front of a lifeguard.
Beach patrol says their important Labor Day safety tips are to watch for rip currents, beware of lightning, avoid sea turtles, don't bring alcohol or pets, and don't litter the beach with trash. "Have your cookouts, but please take that trash either with you or any of our trash receptacles posted along the parking areas," Warner said.
Warner says this is also the height of sea turtle nesting season. "We ask the public not to mess with any of the nests, you'll see them marked off. Please give them space. If we do have an emergency or the sea turtles are hatching, please notify beach safety personnel immediately, so they can keep crowd control and people away from the hatching nests."