‘I don’t go in the water,’ First responders want you to be cautious on the 4th of July – Action News Jax

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Jax Beach Ocean Rescue says two people recently had to be rescued from the water.

Earlier this month a young man died right next door in Neptune Beach due to strong rip currents. Just before that, another young man drowned here at Jax Beach.

Then in mid-May, first responders said they rescued 18 swimmers struggling to get back to shore. With the 4th of July, beach safety officials are asking you to be careful in the water.

Independence Day might be days away but some Jax locals are starting their celebrations early, but with a cautious respect for the surf.

“Don’t go in past your waist,” said Menser.

Read: Fourth of July 2023: Where to watch fireworks and celebrate in the Jacksonville area

Following a recent string of deaths attributed to high rip currents at Jax beaches, first responders ask you to be careful in the ocean. Experienced swimmer Santiago Carrizosa agrees. He is part of a local swimmers’ group called Duval Ocean Swimmers; he swims about a mile a day every day.

“If you see white water in a localized area then the current is coming towards the beach. If there are no waves or white water generally that’s an indication water is going out to sea,” said Carrizosa.

Read: Jacksonville Beach Police Department is preparing for the 4th of July Fireworks Celebrations

Action News Jax First Alert Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says to expect a moderate to high rip current risk at the beach. If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the coastline and don’t panic. Jax local Patrick Menser says it’s too much of a risk.

I asked, “Any safety tips you follow to keep yourself safe when you’re out there?”

“Yeah, I don’t go in the water,” said Menser.

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Jax Beach Ocean Rescue has told us in the past that you should swim near a lifeguard and not go beyond your estimated abilities in the water.

Our First Alert Meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh says you’ll want to stay hydrated. Outdoors this weekend it will feel like it’s between 105 and 110 degrees.

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