Rip current risk have Labor Day beachgoers using caution

Posted at 7:27 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 21:44:36-04

In South Florida we haven’t heard the last of Hermine. The now post-tropical storm is sending rough waters our way, especially up on the Treasure Coast Monday.

There is a high risk for rip currents leaving holiday beachgoers on high alert, especially at South Beach Park.

The water was so rough at that Fort Pierce beach that it broke Emily Smith’s boogie board.

“We were going out to get on to the waves, but if you got on to one you would face plant into the dirt, and it would suck you back out,” said Smith.

On top of that, South Beach Park has no lifeguards. And it didn’t have any over the weekend due to staffing issues.

About three of the lifeguards left for other jobs, leaving the Fort Pierce beach unmanned on the busy holiday beach weekend.

“It leaves me a little unsettled,” said Kimberly Bailes from Port St. Lucie. “I’d like to have lifeguards out there at least a flag system to let us know.”

South Beach Park only had lifeguards on the weekends because of budget constraints. Then that staffing issue came up last month leaving the beach unguarded all the time.

Fortunately, Bailes says she was already aware of the rip current risk and will be taking extra precautions as she and her family enjoy their unofficial end to summer.

“We won’t be in the water as far out and will probably stay very close to the shore,” said Bailes.

The St. Lucie County staff says it is working to hire more lifeguards and recommends people only swim at the county’s guarded beaches. Meanwhile, beachgoers should prepare for more rough waters Tuesday.