Volusia County lifeguards are expecting very large crowds over the Fourth of July weekend, and they encourage beachgoers to plan safe, fun celebrations.
“The Fourth of July is a great time for family fun at the beach,” said Mark Swanson, the county’s director of Beach Safety Ocean Rescue.
“By following a few common-sense tips, beachgoers can ensure a safe visit. Above all, everyone should keep a close eye on children and the ocean, always swim in front of an open lifeguard tower, and watch children carefully when they’re in the water.”
Because of Tropical Storm Arthur, beachgoers can expect rough surf and strong rip currents through the weekend. Beachgoers should check with lifeguards about surf conditions before entering the water. If there is lightning in the vicinity, they should seek safety in their vehicles or exit the beach until it’s safe.
Deputy Chief Scott Petersohn advised beachgoers to arrive early and take the first available spot.
He also encouraged beachgoers to park at beach ramps that are not close to bridges. Beach cruising is discouraged.
“International Speedway Boulevard, Dunlawton Boulevard, Flagler Avenue and 27th Avenue will be very congested,” he said. “People with small children may want to opt for one of our traffic-free zones.”
Drivers also are reminded it’s mandatory to drive with headlights on and windows down. Lying and setting up beach umbrellas in the parking and driving areas are prohibited. The 10 mph speed limit will be strictly enforced. Fireworks, alcohol, pets and glass containers are not permitted on the beach. Trash should be placed in the barrels on the beach.
As the beach fills up and the tide comes in, lifeguards may need to close some beach access ramps and traffic lanes. All cars must be off the beach by 7 p.m.
For more beach safety tips, visit volusia.org/beach. For the latest updates on beach conditions, download the beach app at volusia.org/beach.