Special to SEGAZINE
Just 60 miles south of Glynn County, the lively community of Fernandina Beach, Florida, relies heavily on tourists – just like the Golden Isles.
But unlike the Golden Isles, Fernandina Beach spends more than $200,000 a year on safety measures at its beaches and has 35 seasonal lifeguards spread along 12 miles of shoreline. It also has all-terrain vehicles, powered personal watercrafts and a truck.
Glynn County spends $60,000 a year for eight seasonal lifeguards along about a mile of beach and relies on kayaks and one all-terrain vehicle for rescues.
For Fernandina Beach, it is more than an investment in safety. It is also a marketing pitch: Visit us, our beaches are safe.
After two drownings this past year at the St. Simons Island beach – one at an unguarded time, the other at an unguarded location – the Glynn County Commission has begun looking at ways to improve safety for waders and swimmers at a beach known for dramatic tide changes and rip currents.