A Beach Day isn’t Always a Day at The Beach


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The Sad Side of Beach Bar Life

A day at the beach isn’t always a day at the beach. Sometimes a day at the beach can turn into a nightmare and that’s exactly what’s happened.

Drownings and lightning accidents, rank among the top villains for accidental deaths in Florida.

Within the few days’ drownings and lightning, strike deaths have taken our sunshine away.  

Children – Adult Supervision

I can’t imagine a sadder tragedy. A 15-month-old toddler is in serious condition after her 7-year-old sister found her drowning in the pool. The toddler saw the open door and made her way outside. She then fell into the pool. A haunting and avoidable tragedy.

Toddlers are at the highest risk. Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR. Supervise children constantly Teach children to swim as early as possible.

Install the proper water barriers. Children should be required to wear life jackets whenever they are in or on watercraft. The buddy system supplements adult supervision Pair children with someone, telling them their responsibility for knowing where his or her buddy is at all times.

Basic Safety

Closer to home. Nicholas Baldwin a strong 25-year-old man was found dead in the water near a Clearwater Beach resort on Wednesday. He was an employee at a Jet Ski Rental business on Clearwater Beach, Nicholas died at Morton Plant Hospital. It’s reported by fellow workers he was noticed missing 40 minutes before he was pulled from the water. It’s still unclear what happened or how long Nicholas was in the water before being found. The case is still under investigation.

What is clear the buddy system failed and for whatever reason Nicholas wasn’t wearing an approved life jacket.

This too was a sorrowful yet avertible tragedy.

I know Nicholas only in passing and offer my sincere condolences. However, a coworker Josielynn Taylor started a Memorial Fundraiser for Brenda Baldwin. Click here and donate what you can!

Riptide

Drownings accidents have no age limits. A 53-year-old father of four drowned during a family vacation in Florida while saving his daughters after they were caught in the riptide. A sad yet preventable tragedy.

If you get caught in a riptide, here’s what to do: Don’t panic. Go with the flow. Try to keep calm. Rip currents won’t pull you under — Don’t try to swim against the rip. Swim parallel to the shore. Instead of swimming against the rip current, you want to swim perpendicular to it, in either direction. Rip currents are typically only 20-100 feet wide. Once you leave the rip, swim at an angle away from it towards the shore.

Florida – Lightning Capital of the USA

2019 has provided Clearwater Beach a stormy summer. Which became evident when a storm rolled in on a crowded North Clearwater Beach last Sunday. When lightning struck and killed Garry Perks, 32, of New Port Richey and injuring at least 8 others.

Lifeguards on the beach left their towers around 12:30 p.m. due to the approaching storm. Police reports say the strike happened at 12:42 p.m. near Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. Lightning struck and injured several people around him standing near the volleyball courts.

Be your own meteorologist. If you see lightning, it’s time to get off the beach, and find shelter. Get into your car or into a building. If you are caught in the open and cannot seek shelter, squat down on the ground with only your feet touching the ground. Mobile apps are a great way to get the latest forecast any time you need it. The most deaths from lightning occur either 1/2 hour before the storm arrives or 1/2 hour after it passes.

When lifeguards are present follow their instructions. Since lifeguards will require evacuation at any sign of thunder or lightning. Its reported lifeguards around 12:30 p.m. the Clearwater Beach lifeguards all left their towers due to bad weather. The lightning strike hit around 12:40 p.m. with a lot of people still in the water.

If the lifeguards had required evacuation at the first sign of thunder or lightning or if the beachgoers had been aware and evacuated sooner this tragic and unfortunate accident may have been avoidable.

All of these tragedies were caused by not following basic safety procedures and a lack of common sense.

Author: Betty Beachem

Comments
  1. Mark said on :

    I was there that terrible day. The guest tried to help as the kids looked on. The staff didn’t have a marine defibrillator and I was shocked.

  2. Donna said on :

    I was checking in at Gulfview Hotel on Clearwater Beach on Weds the 17th. It was roughly 1:30 and our room wasn’t ready so I took a walk and found Shepard’s, it was my first time there. I walked past a water sports shack. It appeared they were nervous. Around 2:00 all hell broke loose. They pulled a lifeless person from the Gulf. I was in disbelief and my suspicions regarding the medical assistance grew. Hotel guests were helpful. But it appeared to be little leadership till city services arrived. My disbelief grew into a rage. When I was told by an employee, the victim worked for the resort’s wave runner water sports business. That no one had any interaction with him for 40 minutes and he’d complained about not feeling good/heat. Worst of all he wasn’t wearing a life jacket/vest!!!