Jensen Beach Ocean Rescue debuts new lifeguard tower

Promotes safety and efficiency

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- Lifeguards in Jensen Beach are feeling more prepared than ever to keep swimmers safe going into the summer season.

Martin County Fire Rescue Ocean Rescue team is now using a new lifeguard tower, designed to make their job safer and more efficient.

Friday's rip currents in Jensen Beach caused lifeguards to be extremely watchful.

Ocean Rescue Chief, Emily Hall, says the new tower design could buy them seconds if they needed to make a rescue. "Seconds definitely save lives," Hall said.

The new tower was built by Stuart based company, Bausch Enterprises, Inc. "Im really excited about it actually. The biggest thing is the height. The higher up you are, the easier it is to spot rip currents," Hall said.

It's two feet higher than the old towers, so lifeguards like Hall can scan the beach and the water more thoroughly.

The new model also replaces stairs with a ramp to increase safety.

"It's very easy to trip, so coming out of a narrow ladder it would be much more risky to the lifeguard, and  they could be injured in trying to perform a rescue," Hall explained.

Hall says Martin County Ocean Rescue has already pulled more than 120 people out of the water this year.

Beach goers like Elizabeth McCormick say they now feel a little safer when they visit Jensen Beach.

"It makes me feel very safe and actually my nephew comes here and he swims so I think it's a great improvement to the beach and to our community," McCormick said.

Bausch Enterprises is also building another tower to install in Hobe Sound in the next few months.

Hall says it's beneficial using a local company because it allows for quick repairs or needed modifications.