County officials expect a busy weekend on the beach despite cooler temperatures.
I think it will be a busy weekend, but the weather is calling for some really cool temperatures, so I dont know how busy its going to be in the water as opposed to the beach, said county Recreation and Parks Director Lisa Gurganus. I think that there will be more folks coming our way if gas prices dont keep them from traveling.
Lifeguards wont be on duty full-time until May 28, the Friday before Memorial Day, but sandbar patrols begin this weekend. Until Memorial Day weekend, county lifeguards will patrol the beach and sandbars every weekend during varying hours in the early morning and mid to late afternoon.
We dont recommend people go swimming out to the sandbars, but they do (anyway), Gurganus said.
Incoming tides immerse the sandbars under water, often catching swimmers off guard and having to cross deep water to return to shore.
She asks those who go to the beach to be exceedingly careful. Watch out for rough surf and be aware of undertow.
No current advisories had been issued for St. Simons Island or Jekyll Island, but beachgoers should be wary of rip currents, she said.
Currents can be really swift, so even if theyre out in knee-deep water a child could get swept away, Gurganus said.
She also reminds visitors of regular health risks, like dehydration and sunburn.
For your first exposure to the summer sun this season, dont go crazy, Gurganus said, urging sunseekers to apply sunscreen protection.
Lifeguard Paris Wyland reported seeing large numbers of jellyfish on the beach in recent days. Gurganus said the stinging invertebrates are another hazard to keep an eye on.
The county still has openings for lifeguards. Anyone interested in being a lifeguard may apply at glynncounty.org/jobs.
The lifeguard crew was short-handed before, but Gurganus said a recent directive from the Glynn County Commission to assign a new team to monitor Goulds Inlet during the peak summer season has created more openings.
The job is seasonal, offering 40 hours per week between the weekends of Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Were really stressing the need for people to apply. Thats going to be our challenge in the next couple of months, getting people to apply, Gurganus said.
Applications are down this year compared to past years, which she said could be due to any number of factors. Fear of contracting COVID-19 is a possibility.
She said high school and college students are typically their most abundant source of lifeguard candidates. That pool comes and goes as the students take other jobs, have greater scholastic burdens or graduate.
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