Rip current education has to start earlier to prevent further tragedies on the coast

Yesterday, a 43 year old Tennessee man died after being rescued from a rip current in Ormond Beach. Lifeguards saved over 100 people this weekend (story HERE). This is despite posted warnings at the beach and our local meteorologists issuing warnings on almost every broadcast when the conditions get rough.

Local leaders need to start education earlier on these potentially dangerous rip currents.

Now, I’m not talking about a menacing warning billboard outside of the airport, but some literature inside of beach side hotel rooms. Maybe some digital advertising that is targeted for beachside zip codes on streaming music services. Let people hear the advisories when they’re on the beach And we need more signs at the beach.

And I’m not just talking about tourists either. There are a lot of locals that will brush off a rip current warning assuming they can swing through whatever the ocean throws at them.

That’s a mistake.

Growing up in Orlando, I remember we were warned about rip currents in the class rooms. They got a mention during CPR courses growing up and stricter parents wouldn’t even let kids in the water past their waist if the currents were bad. And if there was word of a recent shark attack then going in unattended wasn’t an option at all.

Perhaps its time to reinstate those traditions. We have to explore ways to prevent tragedies like the one that occurred this weekend from happening again.

We must do everything in our power to ensure our beaches are a place where visitors can have fun and feel safe.

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