With the 4th of July occurring on a Tuesday this year, many will celebrate the country’s independence early. Local Beaches are expected to fill with thousands of locals and tourists alike.
A dip in the water may seem easy enough, but the sea may be deadly for inexperienced visitors. There’s barbeque, sunshine and plenty of fun. All these distractions can be exciting, but they can make you let your guard down.
KVEO’s Alfredo Cuadros met with the South Padre Island lifeguards. They are the people sworn to protect life on the beaches. They’ll have an increased presence this week.
Jim Pigg , Coordinator for city lifeguards, says, “It’s Going to be a bit rough. It’s windy and it’s very choppy out there. The beaches are going to be jammed pack. It’s going to be a full weekend a very busy weekend. “
The life guards train often this time of year. In the event you do see someone in distress don’t try to be a hero by going into deep waters yourself. Call 911 first. Otherwise you could make the situation worse.
“They become victims themselves,” says Pigg, “They want to make sure that they have at least 911 on the line, that we’ve been notified and we have tucks in route.”
If you’re going to be out swimming, try to do so with lifeguard presence. If you’re ever caught in a rip current, the best thing you can do is stay calm and yell for help.
“They have to swim parallel to the beach and try not to panic. Remain calm. It’s hard to do but that’s what they have to do. You can’t swim back against a rip current, you won’t make it and you’ll become fatigued,” says Pigg.
The city of South Padre Island issued pet safety tips. Oftentimes people have good intentions when taking their pets into the beach, but may end causing them harm.
“If the sand is hot to them, it’s hot for their kids and it’s hot to their pets,” says Pigg.
If you remember only one thing, stick to the buddy system. Never go out into deep waters alone. SPI lifeguards say that if your child or loved one is missing, call 911 immediately.