Lifeguards start patrols west of pier

Santa Rosa County lifeguards on Friday started using all-terrain vehicles to patrol on the west side of Navarre Beach Fishing Pier — a move praised by island residents and first responders.

Previously the county had four permanent lifeguard stations east of the pier but no roving patrols in other areas.

Although District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson May 11 initially proposed incrementally adding four more permanent lifeguard stations on the west end of the beach at a cost of roughly $50,000 each per year, following advice from Santa Rosa County Attorney Roy Andrews he made a successful motion May 14 to add the roving patrols — at an estimated annual cost of $70,000.

County Engineer Roger Blaylock suggested ATV patrols could be implemented west of the pier to Utility Drive, a stretch known as the beach’s commercial corridor, from Memorial Day through Labor Day — the traditional
start and end of the local tourist season.

“It’s a great step,” Midway Fire Rescue Chief Jonathan Kanzigg told the board.

Read more in the May 21 issue of Navarre Press.

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