VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Beach rescues were in extremely high numbers over the Labor Day holiday weekend in Volusia County.
Captain A.J. Miller, the spokesperson of Volusia County Beach Safety, said lifeguards made 178 rescues this weekend. Last year, there were 16.
He said the uptick is because of Hurricane Idalia's remnants. Since they expected bad conditions, they staffed up their towers, along with adding more help to monitor the beach.
With it being a holiday weekend, tourists might not have been aware of the dangers. Two sisters from Louisiana drowned in New Smyrna Beach on Monday. The two were swimming in an unguarded area when a bystander spotted them and signaled for help. When medics got there, the two didn't have a pulse.
Captain Miller said the drowning was classified as 'unwitnessed.'
"We don't know how long they were under the water, if they were submerged, if there was any traumatic incident that occurred that led to the drowning," Miller said.
Miller emphasized this is why it's important to swim near a lifeguard tower, especially if you aren't an experienced swimmer or surfer.
"If there is an incident or someone does get in trouble, you are right there to see them and give them the best opportunity they can."
One of the sisters reportedly got a pulse back at the hospital, it's unclear about the other one.
Officials recommend people download the Volusia County beaches app to get the latest updates on beach conditions.