Panama City Beach gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year, Fourth of July weekend
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Large crowds are expected to flock to Panama City Beach as another holiday weekend quickly approaches.
“Fourth of July on the beach is probably the busiest time of the year for us,” Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said.
Officials are already gearing up to ensure everyone’s safety over the Fourth of July weekend down on the beach.
“Seconds count in rescue and emergency procedures in the open water environment, so we train every day for this,” Beach Safety Director Wil Spivey said.
And around town.
“You never know what’s going to be dealt to us, but our officers are trained to handle any situation that might arise,” Talamantez said.
Talamantez and Spivey say they increase staffing every year.
“We modify our schedules to make sure we have more officers at the busiest times of the day,” Talamantez said.
“We have a wonderful team and we’ll be out patrolling the beaches and the designated guarded beaches as well,” Spivey said.
Talamantez said there are some precautions you can also take next weekend.
“It’s very hot, so make sure you hydrate. If you’re going to consume alcohol, do it responsibly. If you’re going to be down on the beach, understand it’s going to be very crowded,” Talamantez said.
And when you’re on the beach, always stay alert.
“Swim near a lifeguard, beware of the flag system, if you’re caught in a rip current you’re going to want to swim sideways along the beach to break out of the rip current, and if you’re a non-swimmer you should either not enter the Gulf or wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest,” Spivey said.
But most of all, officials want tourists and locals alike to enjoy the world’s most beautiful beaches.
“Have fun, be respectful, follow our laws, and leave with great memories, not a criminal record,” Talamantez said.
Talamantez says for the one percent who try to ruin it for everyone, beach police are working so they don’t get a chance to do so.
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