Nags Head, NC - Lifeguards in Nags Head are dealing with a big headache: vandals are targeting their stands on the beach.
"We've been on the beach since Memorial Day weekend for about 3 weeks now and over the course of those 3 weeks we've had lifeguard stands tipped over randomly 12 times," explained Nags Head Ocean Rescue Captain Chad Motz.
Thursday night was particularly rough - 4 stands were found tipped over Friday morning.
While tipping the stands over may seem like an innocent prank, Motz says the damage and public safety risk are great.
"We've got to recruit some personnel to come down, put the stand back up, do repairs on the stands if they are damaged and dig them back in," Motz explained. "So it takes us longer to get into service for the day."
Each stand weighs more than 600 pounds, so it takes a team of lifeguards to right the stands, which means fewer eyes watching the beach.
"Typically we are in service and lifeguarding on the beach at 10 am and some of those stands it took us until almost 11 this morning to get everyone in service and on-duty," Motz explained.
While most stands are useable once righted, there has been damage reported as well.
"This year they've gotten twisted up a little bit, we've had some backboards snapped off of them, just minor repairs, but it takes 20-30 minutes to get it back in service and get the repairs done," Motz commented.
If you see someone damaging a lifeguard stand, you're encouraged to call the Dare County non-emergency line at 252-473-3444.