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Here’s The Scoop…2000…2008….What’s The Difference?..

‘Undercurrents’

Who’s watching the tourists?

As told to Tom Walsh

Published on February 10, 2000

‘The pasty-white young man had come to the beach to bask in the warm sunshine, inhale the balmy ocean breezes, and soak in the salt water at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

He certainly didn’t plan on gulping seawater and nearly drowning that Sunday afternoon.

The beach was crowded with locals and tourists; we’re pretty sure he and his wife fit into the latter category because of their milky skin. While we lay on the beach we heard some unusual, high-pitched screams of Woo! Woo! Thinking it was some jerky young men calling out to women, we looked away and rolled over.

But the young man had been caught in the rip current just 50 yards offshore and appeared to suck in some water before two sunbathers, hearing his cry, jumped in (being journalists, we watched) and eventually brought him to shore. He barfed up some saltwater and lay down in shock. Where were the lifeguards we asked? Nonexistent at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

It seems this little seaside community loves the moneyed tourists staying at its numerous and quaint little motels but apparently doesn’t want to pay to protect them. There is a sign at the major entryway to the beach warning that you swim at your own risk, but is that enough for the thousands who flock there? Many of the visitors, of course, are unfamiliar with the ocean and its power.

It becomes clear where Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s priorities lay when we walked back to the parking lot and saw that the city does employ busy meter maids, who hand out $25 parking tickets.’

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2000-02-10/news/undercurrents/

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