Many people come to the beach for the water and waves but today was all about the sand. Red flags at Pensacola Beach means all swimmers are stuck in the sand.
“Um, we’re just kind of bummed,” said Kana Crumby, beachgoer from Tupelo, Mississippi. “He was looking forward doing some swimming and getting some sun and stuff so the waves are not real safe for that. Usually when we come it’s kind of calm and the kids can play and stuff so this is something new.”
Most people did not try to go in the water. However, there was some confusion as to why surfers were let in on the other side of the pier.
“The surfers are usually pretty good about knowing where they can and cannot surf,” said Chris Wilson, Senior Lifeguard. “And they’ve helped us out a lot in the past with rescuing swimmers and what not. So we actually really do like the surfers.”
The red flags are expected to fly tomorrow, keeping swimmers out for another day. That means lifeguards will keep driving up and down the beach but northerly winds will make the Gulf look much different.
“So these waves are going to be huge and they’re going to be picture perfect barrels,” said Jake Wilson, Senior Lifeguard. “So tomorrow morning the surfing out here is going to be fantastic. And what that is going to do is it’s going to clean up a lot of the choppiness on the surface and it’s going to make the Gulf look more inviting.”
That may mean more work for lifeguards to keep everyone out of the water. What could be more disappointing for beachgoers is if those red flags fly through the weekend.
“As far as Saturday goes, that’s a toss-up right now if we’ll go red or yellow,” said Jake Wilson. “If we do go yellow, we’ll probably be very busy with the increased crowd numbers for the Labor Day weekend.”
Either way, the lifeguards will make their decision each morning to keep swimmers safe. The lifeguard stands at Pensacola Beach will be fully staffed heading through the holiday weekend.