Black Sunday revisited

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM.

A positive change

Since that tragic day, Wise said his beach safety lifeguards have achieved "great numbers" as far as preventative actions, educational contacts and rescues.

For lifeguards, rescuing swimmers is the "last line" of defense. And based on the numbers his guards have been reporting, plenty of beachgoers are being warned about beach conditions ahead of time.

"We're coming up, in our primary zones, on one-million contacts," Wise said. "We've also surpassed one-hundred thousand preventative actions, which is where a person is already in imminent danger."

"These are absolutely phenomenal results," he added.

Wise said approximately 99 percent of the rescues his guards perform occur outside of the areas they are contracted to protect. Many rescues also happen after beach safety hours, which are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the second Saturday in March to the last Sunday in September.

Since Black Sunday, 100 percent of the drownings in Walton County have come in areas that were not patrolled by lifeguards, or fell outside of contracted areas, Wise told The Sun.

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