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US Coast Guard, Sarasota lifeguard urge water safety ahead of the Labor Day weekend

They are asking the boating public to use best practices while on the water and swimmers to stay close to areas with a lifeguard

BRADENTON, Fla. — Officials with the Coast Guard and Sarasota County lifeguards are reminding tourists and locals about the dangers of rip currents and how to stay safe as we head toward the Labor Day holiday.

Sarasota County Lifeguard Captain Roy Routh and Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Kameron Sidwell spoke Tuesday at the Coast Guard Station Cortez on 124th Street in Bradenton.

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The US Coast Guard expects to see more than 200 vessels on the waterways daily during the holiday weekend. They urged the boating public to use best practices while on the water. They say doing the following would improve safety while folks are having fun on the water:

  • Wear a lifejacket and ensure there are enough for everyone on board. 
  • Never boat under the influence and have a sober captain.
  • Ask for a mariners license before taking a charter trip. 
  • File a float plan of where you are going and return time with someone you trust.

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Officials are also reminding folks to use beaches with lifeguards and look for signs that advise about rip currents and water conditions. They say it’s easier to spot a rip current from higher up, like from a lifeguard stand, than from down at beach level.

Lifeguards say if you if have any doubt about your swimming abilities, stay out of the water. Always swim with a buddy and stay in the area where there is a lifeguard station. Also, pay attention to the color of the flag at a lifeguard stand; it’s there to help keep you safe,

There are six lifeguarded beaches in Sarasota County: 

  • Lido Beach, 400 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota
  • Siesta Key Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota
  • Nokomis Beach, 1000 Casey Key Road, Nokomis
  • North Jetty Beach, 1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis
  • Venice Beach, 101 The Esplanade, Venice
  • Manasota Beach, 8570 Manasota Key Road, Englewood