Rough Surf Keeps Panhandle Lifeguards Busy

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- Lifeguards in the Florida Panhandle are staying busy this summer, pulling swimmers from the rough surf of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Pensacola News Journal reports lifeguards have rescued more than 780 people this summer, thanks to a mix of a busy tourism season, inexperienced swimmers and dangerous rip currents. The previous record for rescues was 690 in 2005.
Pensacola Public Safety Director Bob West says there have been few "green flag" days this summer. He urges people who aren't experienced swimmers to only venture into the water near lifeguard towers.
Officials say more than a dozen swimmers were rescued Monday in the Pensacola area. That follows 178 rescues on Saturday and Sunday.
Lifeguards are hitting the beach at 7 a.m. Tuesday. They'll stay until dusk if conditions persist.


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