100 rescued from rip currents in Central Florida

Lifeguards urge parents to keep tabs on children

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Lifeguards in Central Florida rescued more than 100 beachgoers from strong rip currents on Sunday, and the hazardous conditions are expected to continue on Memorial Day.

Lifeguards told Local 6 they were "overwhelmed" by the amount of rescues, with one estimating a rescue about every 20 minutes.

"They're alert, they're astute and they are right on top of things, and you can't ask anything more of a lifeguard," said Bob Gilbert, who was visiting the beach from Ocala.

No one was seriously injured, although warnings have also been posted for jellyfish.

Beach officials also said that distracted parents took some of the lifeguards' focus off the water.

On at least 40 occasions over the weekend lifeguards were preoccupied with reuniting parents with their children, who either wandered away or were pulled down the beachline by the current.

"A lot of children get disoriented in the water, so it could be 100 yards or even further," a lifeguard said.

"It's scary.  You're not even their parent and you're scared for them and you wonder how it happened.  But in one second your kids can be out of sight here," said Gayla Linton, a mother of three.

Beach officials urged parents to find a landmark and inform their children so they know how to find them.

Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for Central Florida beaches.

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