Is It Safe to Go to the Beach?

beach blue sky cheerful clouds
Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Pexels.com

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the beach, a scandalous story from a Jacksonville newspaper tells you it’s not. Worse yet, there is real “risk to sunbathers. How could we ever live our lives without the government telling us how, and the media accentuating these myths? This one-two punch hits right in the gut. You might as well just stay indoors.

The headline about the beach was comical, but it wasn’t intended to be. “Two recent Nassau County hit-and-runs highlight risk to sunbathers,” proclaims the headline. So much for a relaxing afternoon at the beach, when the unsuspecting soul next to you is trampled.

Maybe we need more signs to warn sunbathers. This is hardly the case. Cluttering the beach access at Sadler Road are enough signs to keep you busily reading for hours. No need to bring a book, just read the signs (but keep an eye out for crazed motorists who will crush you like a shell).

Meanwhile, local officials are watching, and listening. Both the city and the county are assessing beach accesses and activities, particularly with parking. More specifically, parking on the beaches in the few spots where you can do so — and how local officials can better control it (and/or monetize it).

News reports like these can only incite more control. “Sun, fun and cars on the beach are proving dangerous in Northeast Florida where two unrelated hit-and-runs in Nassau County have sent sunbathers to the hospital with multiple injuries in just under a month.” Of course, there is much exaggeration in the article, but we can’t let that get in the way.

There are more people using the beaches now – than ever before. Our area is growing. But there is more policing of the beaches. You can see from the tracks and ruts on the beaches each morning, where lifeguards and security and maintenance vehicles have traveled. So with more people, we have more patrolling, commensurately.

The beaches here are beautiful, and safe. We have ample police and deputies to handle the additional flow of people. We like being a community that allows beach parking – and does not even charge for it.

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