LETTER: The case for more lifeguards

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM.

• Tower 9, Access #49, west of 2375 Scenic Gulf Drive, SWFD Zone 5, Miramar Beach

For example, standing at the Ed Walline walkover, you would be hard pressed to see the next closest lifeguard stand either east to Goatfeathers or west to Dune Allen. That's entirely too much distance between guards, and it's too much area for the guards to closely see people in the surf.

If someone gets in trouble, minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

With more guards up close and personal on the beaches, anyone entering too far into the surf on a red flag day could be immediately whistled in closer to shore and be given a "verbal educational warning."

People just don't see the danger especially when they are excited to be on vacation and want to enjoy the gulf waters. Direct communication by enough guards on our beaches is the only way we can eliminate future unnecessary deaths due to these dangerous rip tides.

If the TDC advertises for people to come to the beach, they need to ensure their safety. The first priority for bed tax funds should be to ensure we have enough lifeguards 

I can't speak for Okaloosa County, but in Walton County we need more lifeguards, and people going into the water on red flag days need to be confronted by them. I know that sounds difficult for Walton County leaders who treat the tourists with "Kidd" gloves, but not if it can save lives. Our slogan for rip tides should be "not on my watch."

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