Brevard County lifeguards keep swimmers safe from rip currents

Lifeguards warn swimmers, say no rescues made Tuesday

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Red flags along the beach are usually warning enough to avoid swimming, but in Brevard County lifeguards have taken a proactive step to keep swimmers safe from rip currents as Tropical Storm Arthur has formed off the Florida coast.

[RELATED: TS Arthur strengthens off Fla. coast]

As rain bands drenched Cocoa Beach, families ran for shelter, leaving behind experienced swimmers and surfers. But even they know the dangers for anyone.

Jonathan Nevins has surfed these waters for 25 years and said, "Definitely because of rip currents, if you're not an experienced swimmer I wouldn't recommend it to anybody."

Most swimmers walked in waist deep, but not much more. They're taking advice directly from lifeguards.

"We've pretty much done a more proactive approach," said Brevard County Ocean Rescue Assistant Chief Jeff Scabarozi, "Anybody that does down to the beach, we're walking up to them, we're warning them the conditions are bad and it's best that you only go in so far and to pretty much sit right in front of a lifeguard tower."

Lifeguards are taking that proactive step to verbally warn swimmers, and that's probably partly why they said there were no rescues Tuesday in Brevard County.

High, hazardous surf is expected to continue Wednesday.

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