MANATEE COUNTY, FL (May 22, 2017) – Manatee County Marine Rescue Division begins extended summer hours on Saturday, May 27 and urged beachgoers to always swim in lifeguarded areas.
Coquina Beach and Manatee Public Beach are the only beaches in Manatee County that provide beachgoers with professional lifeguard and medical rescue services. Beach lifeguard hours are extended from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Extended summer patrol hours will continue through the Friday, Sept. 8, the Friday following Labor Day. Lifeguard patrol ends at 5 p.m. during the rest of the year.
Swimming areas are designated by buoys to provide a safe haven for swimmers, free of boats and watercraft. Swimmers should take care, however, to remain within these areas. Beachgoers can check daily beach conditions on Twitter @MCGPublicSafety before heading out for a swim.
Marine Rescue Chief Joe Westerman said lifeguard towers post information boards denoting current beach conditions and also use a warning flag system to alert patrons of relative safety levels.
"Although the lifeguards are stationed at these two beaches, they are also dispatched by 911 operators to water emergencies along our waterways and beaches, so you will see them at various locations on and off the sand," Westerman said. "Lifeguards work continually to look for rip currents and to identify hazards that might affect beachgoers."
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.