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Could red tide be in Brevard County?

Melbourne Beach man reports dead fish, sea turtle, experiences breathing trouble

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will investigate reports of red tide symptoms in south Brevard County, county officials said Monday.

Daniel Narlock, a survivor of the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, said he walks the beach every day as part of a mental therapy for himself.

On Monday, Narlock photographed a couple of dozen dead fish and a dead sea turtle, while, he said, he was having trouble breathing and began to cough and sneeze.

"It was fish after fish after fish," Narlock said. "I had to get off the beach because it was just so irritating. I talked to several people and they were having the same issues too."

[READ: These Florida maps show where red tide, blue-green algae are the worst]

Other Melbourne Beach residents told News 6 they experienced the same respiratory symptoms Monday.

"I'm having trouble breathing and my nose is running and I'm coughing," Alison Blazewicz said.

Blazewicz said she immediately began feeling the symptoms while sunbathing near the Beach Woods ocean community on State Road A1A south.

Brevard County officials said Monday that the same typical signs of red tide are also now being reported just a few miles south, in Indian River County.

Red tide closed hundreds of miles of beaches this year on the Gulf Coast and in South Florida.

[RELATED: These are the local groups fighting to clean up Florida's waterways]

Brevard Ocean Rescue on Monday said all county beaches remain open.

Narlock made a report to the FWC on Monday.

The county said the state will send it sampling bottles to test the water.

Narlock said if red tide is confirmed, it would kill the Melbourne Beach economy.

"People come from the mainland to come to our beach. We're one of the best beaches in the world," Narlock said.

Brevard County Natural Resources is working with FWC officials for sampling to begin Tuesday, county officials said. They hope to learn the results from the testing on Wednesday.

Until then, county officials said they're keeping a close eye on the waters.

"In the meantime, we have been monitoring conditions and have reached out to various agencies, such as Keep Brevard Beautiful, Tourism and Development, City of Cocoa Beach, to plan for a coordinated response if and when we have reported fish kills. To this point, however, we continue to monitor and are working with FWC," a spokesman for the county said.


About the Author:

James Sparvero

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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