Rip current rescue, erosion noted in Feb. beach report

VERO BEACH — Lifeguards pulled a 12-year-old boy from a rip current after they spotted him struggling in the water near South Beach Park last month.

City lifeguards were using binoculars to scan the beach when they saw the boy being pulled further out into the water, north of South Beach Park, officials said. Lifeguard officials said the boy was at least 20 yards out in the ocean.

The lifeguards used all-terrain vehicles to quickly drive to the shoreline, officials said. The lifeguards jumped into the water and pulled the boy to shore.

No injuries were reported, officials said. It was unclear what town the boy was from.

This was the first water rescue to happen this year at beaches within Vero Beach, according to a February report from the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association. The VBLA releases the reports – containing updates on city beach conditions – every month.

The report focuses on Jaycee Park, Humiston Park and South Beach Park. City lifeguards also noted there were 11 minor medical rescues to occur on the beaches last month.

Most of the minor injuries were from stings from The Portuguese man-o-war – an aquatic animal – and bumps and bruises.

Lifeguards said a total of 51,885 beachgoers hit the city shores in February. This number did not break any attendance records.

Lifeguards noted that erosion at the beaches have formed a high ledge along most of the shoreline. Officials said the erosion and ledge formation likely developed from the beach re-nourishment sand that was trucked in last year.

The sand, tides, winds and currents have created a sandbar at South Beach and sections of Jaycee Park. This has caused strong rip currents in certain areas at the beaches, especially outside the guarded areas.

Lifeguards reminded swimmers to monitor beach condition signs and flags. Beachgoers should also swim near lifeguard towers and avoid swimming during non-guarded hours.

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