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Jacksonville Beach Lifeguards Say Stay Out Of Water As Larry Creates Rip Currents

If you’re heading to the beach, look out for dangerous rip currents this week as Hurricane Larry lumbers by the North Florida coast in the Atlantic.  All week, lifeguards are flying red flags of warning.

Larry is creating bigger waves that fuel the rip currents. 

Robert Emahiser, captain of ocean rescue at Jacksonville Beach, is advising people not to go in the water at all — but if you do, make sure you’re near a lifeguard on duty.   

“The ocean looks relatively calm to the layperson, but the surf is gonna be large, and so (at) certain tides there’ll be backwash… when the wave breaks and then the water rushes back, and it pulls whoever’s there with it.”

Emahiser said there may be long stretches of shoreline without lifeguards, so it’s essential that anyone coming to the beach, especially with kids, stays near the towers with a lifeguard and life-saving equipment on them. 

At Jacksonville Beach, one lifeguard tower is north of the pier, and the other is at Oceanfront Park at Sixth Avenue South.  

Michelle Corum joined WJCT as "Morning Edition" host in 2012 and has worked in public broadcasting as an announcer and reporter for public radio stations in Lawrence, Kansas, and Interlochen, Michigan. She also manages WJCT's Radio Reading Service for sight-impaired listeners.