VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - As the fall season nears and students return back to school, Virginia Beach Oceanfront lifeguards will be scaling back starting Tuesday.
"We won’t have any staffing at Croatan or the north end of the beach. That doesn’t mean we won’t respond to a call up there but right now we’ll just be centered on the resort beach for the remainder of the fall patrol."
Starting Tuesday, lifeguards will only be patrolling the beach up until 42nd street. Although lifeguards will not patrol the north end of the Oceanfront, they will still respond to emergencies. Normally there are between 55 and 75 lifeguards during the summer and that number will soon decrease for the fall.
"Typically it will be about twelve to fifteen lifeguards and supervisors during the week and about twenty-five during the weekend."
Parents who typically visit the north end of the beach say they will keep a closer eye on their children.
"I’m just gonna keep a closer eye on her and make sure she’s safe and be with her all the time. It’s a lot more dangerous without them because they’re always keeping an eye on those kids," Mattie Graceffa said, a parent.
"I don’t let them out of my sight now but it will definitely be more now that I know they are scaling back with the lifeguards," Brittany Rodgers said, a parent of two children.
Lincoln Russell, an 11-year old who regularly comes to the beach with his grandmother recommends to other kids to stay in the shallow parts of the water.
"You should only go to your waist without the lifeguard."
With several lost children this summer that were reunited with their parents, Gill says parents should continue to watch their children closely.
"Look out for your children, we’ve seen our typical number of lost and found children. A couple that has been found and that’s lifeguards having to focus on these children instead of the water," Gill said.