After drownings in Virginia Beach, lifeguards caution swimmers

Sunday marks one week, since two drownings happened around the same area in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach Lifeguards
Posted at 9:12 PM, Jul 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-10 23:21:50-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— Sunday marks one week, since two drownings happened around the same area in Virginia Beach, and lifeguards say they're raising awareness to curb any other drownings from happening.

Whether you're at the pier, dipping your feet in the sand, or going out for a swim. Lifeguards are warning families about drownings.

"We all stay together, they get in a little bit, but I don't get in much," said Rhona, a Virginia Beach goer.

Rhona is not much of a swimmer. But she travels to Virginia Beach every summer to soak up some sun. She says one of the reasons she always comes back is because of the heavy lifeguard presence at the Oceanfront.

Gary Felch, Deputy Chief of Virginia Beach Life Saving Service said, "When people come to this beach they can always check in with a lifeguard to ask about water conditions, to ask about sandbars. If the water is dangerous enough we will post red flags."

Felch says that lifeguards are trained to see the signs of distress if any drownings happen. But just last weekend no one saw those signs. Two people drowned near Shore Drive, where there are no lifeguards around.

"Don't overestimate your swimming ability," said Felch.

Felch also says a lot of people like to walk on the sand bars, but those can be dangerous. Just last week, lifeguards at the Oceanfront reunited 60 kids with their families and rescued 18 swimmers.

"What will happen is you'll have a quick drop off where the sandbars ended and it's back to deep water," said Felch.

We caught up with one woman exploring Virginia Beach for the weekend. She says she does not take any extra safety measures before going into the water, but she knows her limitations.

"I won't go like far out deep or some people you know," Margerie, a tourist says.

Whether you're at the beach and the waves are breaking or you're at the pool, lifeguards say if you're in an area without a lifeguard, it's highly suggested you have a swim buddy and be in an area with a lifeguard.