While heads in beds are predicted to be up for this tourist season, Beach Safety Director David Vaughan said the South Walton Fire District's number of water rescues appear to be about the same as last year.

Since the start of tourist season, which kicked off Memorial Day weekend, there have been 56 EMS-dispatched water rescues and 412 public assists.

Public assists are situations where lifeguards self diagnose and retrieve people without need for EMS services.

"That can be full-blown rescues where patients refuse EMS, to escorting people on floats too far out back in, to lifeguards intercepting people in the water before they get into trouble," Vaughan said.

The biggest problem that lifeguards face, Vaughan said, is bystanders who want to help.

"They go into the water to help someone and create a situation that puts us at risk," said Vaughan.

However, Vaughan said he thinks the human chain that was formed off Panama City beaches last week to rescue a family is awesome.