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Here’s The Scoop…Another Day..Another Near Drowning Today…In LBTS…

May 18, 2009 by Barbara

RIP CURRENTS ARE HERE TO STAY….

BC- We hear there was another call for help in LBTS today…The Mayor is going to do what this writer has heard as question # 1  from residents in this town especially after yesterday’s non- stop rescue effort…that called for help from “good Samaritans”….Many await the answers…

Excerpts…

‘LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA – Rip currents that caused swimmers to struggle along South Florida shores last weekend will continue for the next four days, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Rip currents challenged swimmers in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea on Sunday, when the Volunteer Fire Department said it helped bring several people to shore. Beachgoers swim at their own risk there.

Despite the weekend incidents and four drownings at the town’s beach in 2008, officials say the town cannot afford lifeguards. Instead, there are warning signs, ring buoys on poles and an ATV patrol by the volunteer firefighters.

Mayor Roseann Minnet, who unsuccessfully sought funding for lifeguards from Broward County, said she will ask the town attorney for an opinion on the situation.

“What is the perception we are giving the public: that we are providing rescues, and could that put the town at risk?” Minnet asked. “We’re incredibly pleased that they saved a life. That’s the most important thing. What if it had gone the other way?”‘

Full text link below….

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/rip-currents-lauderdale-by-the-sea-051909,0,6260441.story

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Here’s The Scoop…We Made The News…VFD On Channel 10 & 6 At 11 PM…UPDATED…We Made The Papers…Another Rorshach Test?…

May 17, 2009 by Barbara

LIGHTS…CAMERA….ACTION…THE RESCUES…BY THE LBTS-VFD AND GOOD SAMARITANS…

Dear Readers…It was quite a day yesterday in LBTS… a look outside this writer’s window in the morning…showed a sea wrought with whitecaps….A troublesome sight to behold as we watched all the swimmers going in despite the treachery that awaited them….

As previously posted we saw that evening the familiar white T.V. Camera trucks from Channel 10 and Channel 6 news…

Below…the text from both interview with links to the sites which may have the videos on soon…

CHANNEL 10 NEWS…. 5/17/09…. 11 PM

Channel 10 news showed in their opening the photo of LBTS-VFD Capt. Ron McGirr and an unidentified FF on the LBTS-VFD Sea Doo…as the Anchor Charles Perez said ” Rescue at sea caught on camera after a day of rough surf”…

At 11:07 pm…Charles Perez said ” High winds made for rough conditions on the beach today where several people had to be rescued after nearly drowning within hours of each other.. Julie Sommers (standing in front of the newly installed post #7) joins us now live from the beach in Lauderdale- By- The- Sea with the pictures of quite a dramatic rescue,Julie”…

Julie Sommers said ” Good evening to you Charles. This lifer preserver post here behind me is one of several installed just three days ago and already today proved priceless. Because on this stretch of sand alone five people who would have drowned this afternoon were saved.’

BC- Next was the interview with the young men previously posted across from the LBTS fire station around 8 pm….

Julie Sommers-” As the sun set this evening surfers strapped in their boards and described the thrills of a rough day on the water can bring”

The young man responded -” It was pretty fun”

Julie Sommers- ” Fun for you guys though can be dangerous for swimmers who aren’t strong enough for rip tide.”

Young surfer- ” I actually warned a couple people today about the rip current.”

Julie Sommers-” You were warning some of the swimmers out there?”

Young surfer-” Yeah, some of the kids, so yeah they didn’t really know what they were doing.”

Julie Sommers- ” It was not just kids that needed rescuing. These photos capture some of the terrifying moments when two tourists from Holland (Photo shown of FF Mark Conn) were rescued this afternoon by volunteer firefighters who patrol the sand here .” ( Photo of Dep. Chief McIntee/ Cat. Ron McGirr and 5 FF by life ring)…

Julie Sommers-” Because the city cannot afford lifeguards.”

BC- Looks like the Dep. Chief came back to the station this evening for an interview…

Dep. Chief/VM McIntee- ” The rips, I watched them take them like a rubber duck in the river, right out and my eyes just popped out. I watched it.”

Julie Sommers- ” And then he and others raced into the water as couples screamed for help and yes that gash on his cheek is from the rescue effort, a rogue wave he said that slammed into the rescue board. A minoe injury worth the bigger pictur.” ( Videos shown by ATV with closeup of McIntee’s cheek )

Dep. Chief McIntee- ” If the volunteer fire department wasn’t there as fast as we were those people wouldn’t be going back to Holland in a plane, they’d be going back in a box.”

Julie Sommers- ” Just before that couple was saved firefighters pulled another woman to safety and moments after the rescue to the north good Samaritans pulled two other people to safety.” ( She held up the life ring that says “property of LBTS”) ” And Charles in that case they (the good Samaritans) used these life rings that had just been posted here on the beach.”

Charles Perez- ” Very lucky to have the right people there at the right time.”..

http://www.justnews.com/video/index.html

CHANNEL 6 NEWs……5/17/09…. 11 PM…

11:05 PM…

BC- Channel 6 showed the same photo of Capt. Ron McGirr on the Sea Doo

Anchor- ” Dangerous rip current threatened the lives of several beachgoers across the south Florida coast today including a group of five in Lauderdale- By- The- Sea. Thanks to some quick thinking by volunteer first responders they all survived.”

Reporter- (on the LBTS beach in front of a group of warning signs) ” This is an unsupervised beach area so you are really swimming at your own risk and that’s exactly what these swimmers were doing and five nearly drowned.”

Vice Mayor/Deputy Chief McInteee- (on the beach in the afternoon) ” As we walked towards the beach approximately 20 feet from the beach we observed two people to our right on the ocean side hit the water and the riptide just picked them up and took them right out like a rocket. They started screaming for help.”

Reporter- ” There are no lifeguards here at Lauderdale By The Sea beaches, but the volunteer fire department happened to be nearby, they were nearby at another emergency”

BC- A photo was shown in the Minto sales office beachfront parking lot of VFD photog Marc Furth, Dep Chief McIntee, FF Mark Conn, Capt. Ron McGirr and an a VFD- FF…and a photo of McIntee and VFD-FF’s with the 2 ATVs and AMR )

Reporter- ” The volunteer first responders on jet skis were able to reach these two swimmers in time.”

Dep Chief McIntee- ” The bottom line is if the volunteers were not there those people would not be going home in chairs, they’d be going home in boxes.”

Reporter- ” The two people rescued are tourists from Holland spending the weekend in South Florida. The rescue was captured by the department’s photographer.”

VFD- Photog Marc Furth- ( Video with McIntee) ” I shoot pictures for the volunteer fire department and they use those for training purposes. I was able to be there in the very beginning to the very end of this.”

Reporter- ( as pictures of a rescue boat was shown) The other three swimmers who had close calls on Sunday were rescued by other beachgoers. Now officials are putting out these life preservers all over on this stretch of beach just in case anyone needs a rescue.”

BC- While we are all thankful that all those swimmers were saved today, a closer look at these reports shows that the VFD  were on patrol yesterday and were able to save some of the swimmers…but the others were saved by “good Samaritans”…and the report from Channel 10 stating …” Because the city cannot afford lifeguards.” along with Channel 6 reporting….” This is an unsupervised beach area so you are really swimming at your own risk and that’s exactly what these swimmers were doing and five nearly drowned.”…and…”The other three swimmers who had close calls on Sunday were rescued by other beachgoers. Now officials are putting out these life preservers all over on this stretch of beach just in case anyone needs a rescue.”…should make it time to put the Clottey recommended referendum item for LBTS lifeguards on the March 2010 ballot!…After all…today is Monday…when the VFD does not patrol as often as on the weekend…and we also face the Memorial Day weekend…and much larger crowds of swimmers…

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/

UPDATE…In today’s Sentinel Local section…including a photo of LBTS-VFD Capt. Jud Hopping making a  rescue… by ‘ Marc Furth,correspondent’ ( Really? McIntee BFF-BTSTimes Editor/Owner-Town photog-VFD photog- 4th of July Event coordinator…now he’s called a correspondent? )….with the accompanying text…

‘Firefighters make Rescue’ ‘ SAFE RETURN: Capt. Jud Hopping, left of the Lauderdale-By-The- Sea Volunteer Fire Department, works to bring Tine Kristensen back to shore after a  rip current dragged her and Brian Spencer out to sea. Hopping and another firefighter who were on the beach near the 4300 block of El Mar Drive, rushed on a water scooter to save the pair. They were assisted by four other firefighters. The victims whose hometowns and ages were not available, did not need medical attention. “These people would be deader than a doornail if we weren’t there,” said spokesman Deputy Fire Chief Jerry McIntee, who is the vice mayor of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.’

BC- Again, it is time for some serious discussion about how this town is portrayed…our P.R….perhaps Comm. Clottey was correct after all concerning  Town PIO d’Oliveira being ready in such circumstances…A look at the comments made by VM/Dep. Chief  and now (according the the Sentinel) VFD Spokesman McIntee in the last 24 hours…should give rise for great concern to the Town, VFD and for businesses that rely on tourism ….On the one hand we cannot be talking about charging $400-500 a night to become a “resort destination” ( VM McIntee/ Cristie Furth previous 5/13/09 meeting LBTS agenda/meetings cat.)…and then have comments made such as these by McIntee about our beach and what awaits the travelers!…

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop……SEA DOO Training For LBTS-VFD Beach Patrol Ocean Safety…Is “Kid’s Play”…

April 23, 2009 by Barbara

JUST “PLAYING” AT BEACH WATER SAFETY…..

Below is a response from the VFD today concerning who is “training” the LBTS- VFD Beach Patrol “Future Operators”..(.as stated by Chief Perkins in the BTSTimes 4/18/09)….

The VFD E-Mail….

‘As for the sea rescue training, all training is in house and is being overseen by Chief Perkins, Battalion Chief Louvaris and Captain McGirr.   Chief Perkins has over 20years experience with beach rescue & jet ski operation, Battalion Chief Louvaris has over 35 years mechanical experience and Captain McGirr has 7 years of experience with jet ski operation’

BC- Feel a pit in your stomach?…This writer/ resident certainly does!…

No disrespect to these gentleman……BUT…Exactly how do they suffice for the USLA training required for “surf lifeguard” rescue at our beach on Personal Watercraft?…

Does Chief Perkins have the USLA training credentials to train and certify theses VFD-“operators”?…

Battalion Chief  Louvaris having “mechanical experience” does not seem to apply in any capacity to “train” for a search for  “lost swimmers” or “drowning victims”…

Captain McGirr we hear does not have 7 full years of experience…and again is he qualified to be a certified instructor to these “future operators”?…

Residents and Tourists are not assured of a fully qualified/certified beach response team to respond to any serious water safety situation in our town…

Somebody needs to stop this…”playing around” with the public’s safety…

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop…Proactive Protection…or P.R. Liability?….LBTS- VFD Ocean Safety Program

April 22, 2009 by Barbara

LBTS- VFD PROVIDING A FALSE SENSE OF SAFETY?….

There were whispers coming out of the VFD a few weeks back that the department was getting a Jet Ski…but to keep mum until it was official…

Fast forward to an article in the Hi-Riser that came out on Thursday April 16, 2009 …(previous post…scoops) where reference was made to a Jet Ski…Then 2 days later a full page color ad paid for by the VFD Booster Club appeared in the Mc-Furth Times…It was another pretty picture by LBTS-VFD-BTSTimes-official Town photographer Marc Furth of LBTS- VFD Fire Chief Perkins pasted on the  back cover page that shows the newly detailed LBTS-Beach Patrol Sea Doo on the beach  …..(“Now on Duty Deputy Chief Jerry McIntee”…to come soon?)….The text says the Chief is presenting to the “neighbors” with “great pride” a “new piece of beach safety equipment” that the LBTS-VFD purchased with “their own funds”…that “this equipment will be used to search for lost swimmers or drowning victims” and is “a perfect addition to our ever expanding beach safety program”…that it will help “make our beaches just a bit safer for our citizens and visitors”…and finished up with “All VFD future operators of this marine unit are presently in specialized training.”…

NOTE: This writer has made a public request to find out who is doing the specialized training the Chief has announced in print…and will post upon receipt…in a followup post…

I made a call to Lieutenant Gerry Falconer of the Miami Beach Fire Department, Ocean Rescue Division to get his input on the new service offered and what would be required to truly offer such safety to our residents and tourists…

Lt. Falconer was in attendance not too long ago to speak about lifeguards on our beaches…Unfortunately, in this writer’s opinion he along with the other men who made the time to come and speak were severely curtailed in their allotted time and were met with deaf ears from the dais along with a Vice Mayor/Deputy Chief  who declared any lifeguard protection of our beach was a pipe dream and “ain’t gonna happen”…touting the VFD Beach patrol as the only viable alternative…

To her credit Comm. Clottey did want this issue to perhaps be a referendum item…something that still merits discussion with a return to a future agenda…by her or another dais member…

In my phone conversation with Lt. Falconer I explained the purchase of the Personal Watercraft and the use  as explained by the VFD…He was very professional…and explained the difference in protection on the beach along with where to find out more useful information to assure we have the right services…

First there is PROACTIVE beach protection…which means there are lifeguards out on the beach doing surveillance allowing them to respond and/or prevent a situation…

Then there is RESPONSE beach protection which is much like a fire, theft or robbery…after the fact…

Lt. Falconer said you have 4-6 minutes to successfully resuscitate a victim pulled from the water…

The fire department and/or police are referred to as a Recovery Unit…and are still part of any lifeguard patrolled beach in the off hours…

While Lt. Falconer felt adding equipment was “a step in the right direction” …he asked what everybody is asking “Who is going to be operating this stuff?”…

The operators need to be trained by United States Lifesaving Association standards…which a quick look on the USLA site (link below) included a 1000 USLA rescue training hour requirement besides hours of watercraft training time….USLA is the only “Surf Lifeguard” program for beach safety…The Lt. said if a department touts the Red Cross as the certification standard used …”That’s good so long as you’re guarding a a swimming pool!”

On their site ….(link below)…

A section on Certification …right side… click on “more”

Left side…”Public Information”…scroll down to “Lifeguard Library”…and take a look at the following…”Breaux vs. Miami Beach”- a lawsuit that went to the Fl. Supreme Court….scroll down further to “Effectiveness A Report of the Working Group”…( both of these reports were sent to the Mayor and the Town Attorney by Lt. Falconer after the Commission meeting he attended…He has not heard back from either or the Town)…

Then….scroll down to the bottom….”Training and Equipment Guidelines using Personal Watercraft as a Rescue Tool”..which shows the criteria required to truly enable the safety of of both the victim and the rescuer….

Lt. Falconer added one last piece of information…right next door we have a first rate USLA Rescue Training Department in Fort Lauderdale…(link below)….

BC- Now what concerns this writer is the previous “cut to the chase” mentality of the Deputy Chief of the VFD and the unfortunate departure of Lt. Scot Fowler (previous VFD posts)…who was indeed the person that could have offered the correct program for training this new VFD program…Unless he has returned,( as stated by the VFD Chief would occur)… it is troubling if these VFD- Beach Patrol  “operators” are being trained as they were on the ATVs…substandardly…

Also, what about the liability to our Town?…A look at the above case on the USLA site shows we leave a wide open door in the VFD “advertising” such water safety protection covering our beaches…

We were not allowed to put warning flags up, and the Vice Mayor/Deputy Chief himself is on record along with his BFF Comm. Silverstone saying these warning flags could not be initiated due to the FACT that if the VFD was neglectful in putting up or taking down the flags and an accident happened the Town would indeed  be liable!…So how is this okay?…

Once again ….we have “blurry lines” with the Town/VFD and what is the joint/independent responsibility of each…

United States Lifesaving Association link below…

http://www.usla.org/

Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue link below…

http://ci.ftlaud.fl.us/oceanrescue/index.asp

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop…Scene And Heard Around Town…Places To Go.. ….Local News…MPSC News…

December 26, 2008 by Barbara

12/26/08….

A late start on this the 1st Sunday of 3..thanks to Christmas being on Thursday…and providing that 3- day Sunday feel…of relaxation…for most…

Don’t ask…don’t ell…(except here)…a lucky Frisbee flying dog….on the beach…among the beachgoers…sitting on the sidelines..or strolling up and down…no alarming reactions……just looked like all enjoyed the entertainment..no harm…no foul…no ticket…

Also lots of ocean swimming enthusiasts…holidays tourist…all ages…all sizes…what is missing from this idyllic picture though…no VFD- ATVs…they are certainly called for non-stop…shifts…on a choppy sea day like today…along with jelly fish…galore!…

Walking into town…by the VFD station…4 members sitting on the back of the truck…their vehicles  parked up on the grass… plenty of parking around…no ATVs…in sight…

Assistant Manager Olinzock…was walking around…Town Hall…and a smattering of municipal workers…on duty…

Took in breakfast at By The Sea Diner…eggs…bacon…sausage…and conversation…both from the friendly staff…and those filling the seats and the booths…

None too pleased were many over  Christmas- By- The- Sea…being a non-event…they think it gave the town a black eye…and needs extra attention next year….that people would have paid for the hayrides…

Talk of some” lousy Commissioners”…some dirty politics…living in a “police state”…with codes that are un-neighborly…were brought up…(with no instigation from this writer)…just a handing out of my card after  hearing the consensus……and a nod of  being in agreement…

The food … along with the atmosphere are definitely worth a return visit…. especially since this time around…we did not order the special deep fried- french toast we hear is to die for……and the lively input heard…hearkened back to the “Louies” of old…where this writer  always heard…the movers and the shakers…sat  around talking  of politics and “lousy Commissioners!”…

Sad to say a peak inside the soon to open Wings…produced a slumping of the shoulders…no Macks Groves will this be…no upscale Wings version of what is on the Galt…much of the same already seen from competing stores neat to the circle….what a letdown!…

The restaurants were hopping…again…benches around the square were occupied…and the beach was packed!…

Again…as in the morning…no ATVs…and lots of swimmers…lots of jelly fish…and lots of questions about the Dec.16th assertions of the VFD taking on the beach …to oversee and assist…

We do need lifeguards …around the Pier…and those ATVs on a schedule that makes holidays weekends…a top priority…

From the Hi-Riser/Sentinel…by Fallon Patterson….http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/news/lauderdale_by_the_sea/sfl-flhrbguards1225hrbdec25,0,5154409.story

Ran into Master Plan Steering Committee Chair…Paul Noak standing outside his hotel…business is good…and he confirmed what we had heard…the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute is going to make a return…with students getting involved with the El Mar medians…Sandra Booth must be thanked…big time…especially while we are still in the midst of the fallout of the major changes  made from the  Ft. Laud. A.I.-Forbes design winning  pavilion …tabs need to kept on any winning design…in this next go round…in no uncertain terms……

The scene walking back…home…north from the pier…a full crowd as far as the eye could see…the construction from the backside…Minto…Whitecap…and addresses on the most buildings…not difficult to read…while waiting for “improvements”…

I guess we are still waiting for the paint to dry on those  8 ft. wooden-posts?….

more to come…

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We Made The Papers…This One Ain’t Going Away…

November 20, 2008 by Barbara

‘Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s

unguarded beach raises

concern’

‘Caverni, in Montreal, said this week that the incident left her “angry. This doesn’t have to happen to others if there are lifeguards on the beach.”

Mitchell also blasted the lack of help.

“Twenty-two respondents without adequate training, equipment and physical ability is near criminal,” he told commissioners. “We cannot put a price tag on lives.”‘

The latest near drowning…in LBTS on Oct. 25th is not going to fade away….this one just may be the catalyst to make some costly decisions… to get the town off the merry-go- round of lifeguards…or no lifeguards…leaving no one in authority the opportunity to sit on the fence this time…

Once again in his short tenure as Vice Mayor/ de-facto LBTS VFD Fire Chief McIntee has made the news…and none of it is good…

Time has come for the Commission …the Administration..AMR….and  the VFD to stop being mute…

An oversite committee needs to be put in place…and public requests need to be forthcoming….

more to come…

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-flblbtslifeguards1120sbnov20,0,2706909.story

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

November 17, 2008 by Barbara

‘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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From The Past…..Rip Tides…Lifeguards…In 2007…BSO

November 5, 2008 by Barbara

‘Drownings Send a Signal: Beach Outings Carry Risk
Broward’s beaches are beautiful, but they have many hidden dangers lurking along and beneath the water
By Jerry Berrios
MiamiHerald.com
[email protected]

January 7, 2007

Broward’s beaches are marketed to tourists around the world as a fun destination, but two recent drownings illustrate hidden dangers that sometimes lurk beneath the surface.

Rip currents, broiling sun rays and Portuguese man-of-war are only some of the elements that can make the beach treacherous.

If beachgoers choose to swim in areas without lifeguards, the chance of something going wrong increases.

”The ocean is dangerous,” said John Frailey, a battalion chief with Broward Sheriff’s Office Division of Fire Rescue. “You have a lot of unpredicable factors.”

Two men who drowned last week swam off private beaches in Fort Lauderdale. In unguarded areas, beachgoers swim at their own risk.

Fort Lauderdale can do little when it comes to posting lifeguards on private property, according to city leaders who discussed the drownings at a meeting Thursday.

”We’re somewhat restrained by what we can do,” said Commissioner Christine Teel, whose district includes some of the beach areas without lifeguards.

Many area residents feel beachgoers should know that they swim at their own risk, and that it’s impossible for the city to be responsible for everyone’s behavior, Teel said. Still, one Fort Lauderdale property is facing a lawsuit from the widow of a tourist who drowned.

Pam O’Donnell, whose husband, Martin, drowned off the private beach of Fort Lauderdale’s Ramada Plaza Beach Resort in 2002, wants hotels to warn guests about the water’s hidden dangers.

Martin O’Donnell, 46, on vacation from Great Britain with his wife and daughter, got caught in a deadly rip current near the resort, at 4060 Galt Ocean Dr. There were no warning signs at the resort, his widow said.

”No flags, no signs, no nothing,” said St. Petersburg attorney Dan Leeper, who’s representing Pam O’Donnell. “No emergency phone on the beach, no plan for how to deal with ocean emergencies.”

O’Donnell has sued the Ramada chain and the resort, charging negligence. A trial is scheduled to start April 9.

Rip currents cause more than 100 deaths a year, according to the United States Lifesaving Association. They are not the only problem along the beaches.

It’s also the season for the Portuguese man-of-war, whose sting is similar to that of a bee, said Breck Ballou, captain of the ocean rescue division of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.

”Just like a bee, if you are allergic to them, it can be dangerous,” Ballou said.

The man-of-war can appear at any time, blown into the area by easterly, onshore winds, Ballou said.

If beachgoers get stung, lifeguards will take the man-of-war’s tentacle off, if it is still attached, and then apply an astringent to the affected area, Ballou said.

Purple flags — which warn beachgoers about the presence of the man-of-war — were expected to continue flying throughout the weekend at Fort Lauderdale beach because of easterly winds, Ballou said.

No state or local agency oversees beach safety. Coastal communities decide individually whether to station lifeguards on public beaches. Shoreline hotels and resorts also make their own lifeguarding decisions.

Florida should establish a uniform warning system for beachgoers, said Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

That would give beachgoers a clear message ”whether they are a resident or a visitor — that there is information you must be aware of,” Grossman said. “You only have to learn it once.”

Some condos and hotels are nervous about distributing beach safety information because they don’t want to be liable for drowning deaths, Grossman said.

”It’s potential liability that keeps everyone from embracing this responsibility,” she said.

BSO Fire Rescue distributes fliers to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea hotels showing swimmers how to escape rip currents.

In that town, leaders have discussed installing emergency telephones and warning systems because the beach area has no lifeguards.

”This time of year is rip-current season,” said BSO Fire Rescue’s Frailey. “That’s when we get the northeastern winds coming in.”

In Hollywood, 21 lifeguard towers and eight first-aid stations dot the beach. Flags fly in those locations alerting beachgoers to the water conditions — whether it’s choppy, or windy and whether sharks are nearby.

Most beach visitors plunge into the ocean without realizing it is much different from other bodies of water, said Matt Phillips, spokesman for Hollywood Fire Rescue. “

”Many of our visitors do not have any ocean swimming experience,” he said. “They come from swimming pools and lakes.”

Fort Lauderdale may be adding five more lifeguard towers to its 15 that already dot its shoreline. City administrators are seeking information to help them decide whether the city or a contractor should staff the towers.

Ballou advises tourists and residents to swim near lifeguards, read the warning signs and ask lifeguards any questions. He also recommends that children not swim alone.

”It’s smart to swim in front of a lifeguard,” Ballou said. “We are there for the public. We are there to assist.”

Miami Herald staff writer Erika Bolstad contributed to this report.

What flag colors mean
HOLLYWOOD

Green: Good to excellent water conditions

Yellow: Moderate water conditions

Red: Extremely hazardous

Blue: Dangerous marine life such as jellyfish and Portuguese men-of-war

Orange: Rip currents with easterly onshore winds

Black: Open surfing or expanded surfing area

FORT LAUDERDALE

Double red flags: Water closed to public (mainly because of lightning and sharks)

Single red flag: High hazard, high surf and/or strong currents

Yellow: Moderate surf and/or currents

Green: Low hazard, calm conditions; use caution

Purple: Dangerous marine life (mainly men-of-war)’

http://www.lifesaving.com/news/show_article.php?section=news&id=112

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LBTS Agenda 10/14/08

October 10, 2008 by Barbara

LBTS AGENDA 10/14/08

full text online...http://www.lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov/

The Invocation will be done for the 2nd time by LBTS resident Pauline McGuiness, Member of the Bahai Spiritual Assembly of Ft. Lauderdale and LBTS…http://www.browardbahai.net/

Presentation by BSO police… done quarterly

Reports…no reports until the 2nd meeting in October…

Town Manager Report…Televised Committee Meetings…

The demise of the televising of the Master Plan Steering Committee…was done under questionable circumstances…it was voted on 4-0 to allow this committee to be televised just as the Board of Adjustment and the Planning and Zoning Board meetings have been…the Town Manager informed the commission that she thought it was too costly and it was stopped without a formal vote after it had been effectively done over time…as far as the cost…the procedure used in the past and still being used by the P & Z Board is for either a secretary or a resident to start and stop the recording,…..with no taped back-up…it should be resumed…

Ordinances 2nd Reading…2008-19-24…is to change the fee structure and/or who has the final decision on appeals…what is the criteria for variances…to re-designate personnel charged with providing recommendations on variances….

BCbythesea…a look at the back-up materials …it appears the same as was brought forth on the dais last month…again…the vote on the fees for variances was 5-0 for $350 for all types of properties for base variances…per the minutes and the Manager herself in discussion with Commissioner Silverstone…previous post…

The Commission should enact all types of properties maintain the same $350 base fee…for all applications …not just variance fees…to be fair and equitable…

Consent Agenda…

a. the Chamber will get its decreased funds of $27 thousand for 1 year..to stay put in their present location…the Vice Mayor finally figured out this was political suicide to push for….and $7 thousand from the Town for Xmas by the Sea….

BCbythesea…don’t forget the $5 thousand McIntee promised from the VFD without running it by the VFD Chiefs or the VFD members…previous posts…

b. issuing 85 parking permits to the Women’s Club…YIKES!…85 …in the back-up they write to say they have many new members…

BCbythesea… 85 … seems over the top…..it is located by Blue Moon….

c. Walk Around Committee …needs more members…and has an applicant…a new applicant …Stacey Roberts Tyrell a resident who lives on E. Tradewinds…

d. Master Plan Steering Committee is in need of another member …due to Shirley Russotti resigning…another new applicant…resident Holly B. (could not read the last name.). who resides on Bougainvilla…

e./f./g/ sidewalk cafes…to approve license fees…for Village Grill…Aruba …… 101 Ocean…

The Commission needs to approve a standardized application…with the same language for all…which is not done at the present time…also to approve a 10% increase per the CPI… a required 90 days before the date of expiration to renew…and for the Manager to renew or remove the sidewalk license rather than the Commission…a 30 day notice would be given …in the event of problems arising from code violations etc…

Village Grill …their license expired in Jan. 2006…and they were given an extension on Nov. 13,2007…for 286 sq. ft. ..62 seats…at a cost of $4825.00 with an annual permit fee of $225…

Aruba…their license expires today…Oct.10,2008…. 48 seats…they have 689 sq. ft….at a cost of $12,402.00….with an annual permit fee of $150.00

101 Ocean …they are set to expire on May 10,2008….240 sq.ft….51 seats…for a cost of $4,320.00…with an annual permit fee of $225.00

Priced before the 10% increase… …

h. Halloween Event 2008…a revision to the permit…

BCbythesea…What is wrong with this picture…last year according to the Town the Senior Center was closed down for 6 days…

This year the Furths are requesting it be closed from Oct.17-Nov. 2nd..YIKES!…

This writer worked with the Furths last year…and while it is a fact they do a fantastic job…much time is spent and wasted on “artistic” endeavors……. to close the center…for even 1 week is ridiculous…. and calls for someone from the Town to step forward…also does closing the center for 2 weeks cause the Town any problems with our Senior Center Grant?…

The soccer field will be closed from Oct. 24-31st…again …why so long?…

The expected participants according to the permit 300….did not seem that many last year…most are out of towners…and with returning senior residents…questions should be asked…before the 17th…

Quasi Judicial Hearing…on site plan for Ocean Terrace Beachside Condominium…which was approved with conditions by the P & Z Board last month…see Board category…

Old Business…

a. Electronic voting system…Comm. Dodd…originally brought this up upon the new commission taking office…to make a faster easier voting process available…he found a reasonably priced system…$2,745.00 the “Capital Outlay Budget” listed at $1000.00 …is a puzzlement..

b. discussion/action….. on Town Hall parking and the actual numbers pertaining to loss of revenue…Comm. Dodd

c. discussion/ action ……on designating LBTS as a Green certified town by the Florida Green Building Coalition…Mayor Minnet…tabled by Comm. Silverstone…cost according to Town Manager $10,950.00 …Town not able to support financially at this time...http://www.floridagreenbuilding.org/db/

d. parking issues town wide…Comm. Dodd…

in the back-up…. Parking Revenue

…………………………2006-2007…rounded……………………….2007-2008 ….unaudited

Beach………………….$48,487.00…………………………………….$46,989.00

El Prado………………$88,943.00…………………………………………..$818.00

Town Hall…………………$130.00……………………………………$15,350.00

Bus. Dist……………$356,249.00…………………………………..$310.887.00

Comm. Blvd………………..$69.00………………………………………$5,504.00

El Mar Parking……….$100,898.00……………………………………..$63,671.00

Bougainvilla……………$8,326.00……………………………………..$29,955.00

TOTAL…………………$603,102.00…………………………………..$473,174.00

BCbythesea…choices need to be made…parking for free…..with no parking personnel or part-timers…or parking fully enforced with full- timers..no half-way…

e. Resolution to Broward County for lifeguards on th beach to guard at a public beach used by everyone …not just LBTS residents…Mayor Minnet…

The Manager asked for and received a proposal from Pompano Beach Ocean Rescue Services…http://www.mypompanobeach.org/parksrec/rescue/index.html

They responded with this proposal…

7 days a week …365 days a year service…

11 lifeguard towers stretching across LBTS and Sea Ranch Lakes…tying into Pompano Beach…

14 lifeguards…$25.55 per hour

2 Lt. Lifeguard Supervisors…$29.85 per hour…

initial equipment required…with cost….

2 ATVs….$62,000.00

16 communication radios…$3,000 each…$48,000.00

11 lifeguard towers….$214.500.00

16 lifeguards …..$1,218.694.00 for year…

total ……………….$1,543.194.00

BCbythesea…why not lifeguards only at the public areas near Commercial with signage that areas beyond a certain point…near condos north…are not lifeguard monitored and you swim at your own risk…

Chances of a grant from Broward in this economic cliimate…none…

f. Oversite Committee for VFD/EMS/BSO Police…Mayor Minnet…YES!…

New Business…

a. discussion/action ….. interim agenda…Comm. Dodd… seems the time of getting the agenda is becoming less reliable..giving all who are interested in doing their homework…little time to do so…

b. discussion/action… to reject automatic pay raises for Commissioners…Comm. Dodd…thought they voted this through at the budget meeting..

c. extension for Bel air residents to hook-up sewers..90-180 days….and ask Pompano Beach to allow installment payments…Town Atty. was requested to review…Comm. Clottey

d. discussion/action…lack of police on the beach….Vice Mayor McIntee…wants last 3 mos. of violations..only BSO Police left for him to lean on…now that fire/ems has left ….

e. discussion/action… pertaining to ordinance against topless bars..Vice mayor McIntee…in back-up Broward County Ordinance 77-4B chapter 39…requested Town Atty. to review…did this come from the notion of an entertainment overlay district…or what?……

f. discussion/action… town wide height limits…grade…Comm Dodd…3 over 1 needs some decision making…etc….

g. discussion/action… parking in front of the McIntee Public Safety Complex for ambulance only…Comm Clottey…

BCbythesea…what no space for the Vice Mayor’s Caddy?…

h. discussion/action…Equity in Commissioner salary…Comm. Clottey

i. discussion/action…4 parking spaces A1A parking lot …for residents…Comm. Clottey

j. discussion/action…iguanas…allocate funds…Comm. Clottey…

BCbythesea….nothing has happened…why?…

k. discussion/action….Broward League of Cities http://www.browardleague.org/urging Legislature of the State of Fl. to fully fund the Broward county court system…provide sufficient funds for traffic magistrate citation program…Mayor Minnet

l. discussion/action …….regarding Earth Day …….http://www.earthday.net/…April 22,2009…Mayor Minnet

m. discussion/action…discuss lifeguard service…see Old Business…item e…Mayor Minnet…

BCbythesea..perhaps earlier agendas …with interim sent to the commission could alleviate this type of double entry…along with multiple items on the same topic put on by commissioners…

n. discussion/action …town events…Vice Mayor McIntee…no back-up…

BCbythesea…HMMM…all town events will now officially be CIC-town events…aren’t they already?…

o. discussion/action 6 parking spaces for Town residents…Vice Mayor McIntee…

BCbythesea…case in point…at the CIC Town Hall Meeting…resident permit parking was a big topic…resident permit spaces available VS residents who purchased permits…per Bill Hubley…a real eye opener..previously posted…now on this agenda multiple times…

p. discussion/action entryway/Fountainhead …Vice Mayor McIntee…

BCbythesea…a letter was sent to the Fountainhead Condo from Assist. John Olinzock on Oct.3rd,2008…asking for an easement for placement of an entryway sign…no back-up response from the Pres. of the Fountainhead…

We currently have no vote for signage or flag poles at this or the north entry on A1A into town…it should be addressed..(never voted on but put in on Commercial…previous post)….

Regular commission Meeting Tues. Oct.14,2008…7 pm Jarvis Hall…public can speak at public comments…sign up before 7 pm…sharp!…and at Ordinances…Quasi Judicial Hearing…will be televised on channel 78…Comcast/online…at above link…

more to come…after the meeting highlights…overview…Wed….

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