Soft sand, jellyfish not a deterrence for beachgoers

14 people rescued, 103 stung by jellyfish at beach


ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Cloudy weather and rain didn't deter people from spending Labor Day at the beach.

"On the way over here, we caught a little bit of rain, but we said, 'Let's just go for it. It's a beautiful day,'" said Jorge Paez.

Volusia County Beach Safety & Ocean Rescue flew the yellow flag Monday for moderate rip current conditions. They said there were also issues with jellyfish and soft sand.

"You don't stop in soft sand and they just don't understand that," said Charles Munton.

Car after car struggled to drive down the strand to enjoy Labor Day at the beach, but many folks had to overcome the soft sand before enjoying the water. If they got lucky, they had help from one Ormond Beach couple who locals call the "tow people."

"Beach patrol come down, 'Hey, Chuck, you got your tow straps and stuff? We got somebody stuck down here,'" said Sharon Munton.

The Muntons said they spent part of their Labor Day working on the beach.

"We've had most of them today than we had this weekend. I'm still out of breath," said Charles Munton.

"We do have some soft sand issues," said Capt. Tammy Marris, of Beach Safety & Ocean Rescue. "We do encourage people to please pay attention to the posted signs and cones. If it says four-wheel drive only, it means four-wheel drive only."

But if folks still found themselves in a rut, Charles Munton said he has just the trick.

"Carry you a piece of carpet about a foot wide and 3 or 4 feet long," Charles Munton said. "You put that under your turning wheels when you back up and you'll walk right out of the sand."

'We don't want anyone's holiday to be ruined," said Sharon Munton.

Volusia County Beach Safety & Ocean Rescue said it had every lifeguard on deck, paying attention to swimmers in the ocean.

"We are flying the yellow and purple flag today for moderate rip current conditions, and the purple flag -- we're having some jellyfish stings as well," said Marris.

Marris said they rescued 14 people from the ocean and had 103 jellyfish stings on Monday.

But even with these issues, beach safety said the holiday weekend was a successful one.

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