Fri, Jun 14, 2024
Ocean Rescue called for five missing children over weekend

Ocean Rescue called for five missing children over weekend

  • PublishedMay 28, 2024

Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue responded to five missing children calls Sunday, then had several more Memorial Day.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Jacksonville Beach was packed with people enjoying a beach day for the holiday weekend.

Although it was a quiet day for water rescues, Jax Beach lifeguards were still busy – with missing kids.

Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue responded to five missing children calls Sunday and had several more on Memorial Day.

“We see a range of emotions, from parents being angry, upset, crying,” said Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Captain Rob Emahiser.

Emahiser says parent and child reunions are a nearly everyday sight by the lifeguard building.

For every one water rescue they do, they have a handful of missing kid calls.

“Asking for help right away means they’re not going to get further and further away,” said Emahiser. “Sometimes we find kids more than two miles away from their family.”

Emahiser has come up with a checklist for parents to avoid losing your child.

“Assign a person to watch the kids,” said Emahiser. “Have a place where you’re going to meet up, where your things are, have a picture of your kids. A picture that day, what they’re wearing. Also, teach your kids your phone number.”

With experience as a lifeguard herself, Karen Sandelin has a method to make sure she never loses track of her little one, Teya.

“We always have multiple parents to keep an eye on them,” said Sandelin. “Some up there watching, some up in the hotel spying, we all have the phones and we always have an adult in the water with them.”

Sandelin says her method has worked – her family visits Jacksonville Beach for all the major summer holidays, and they have never been separated by any of the little ones.

Emahiser is hoping if more parents follow his checklist, lifeguards and police officers will be able to spend more time patrolling the beach, and less waiting with children for their parents.

“It’s definitely something you wanted to avoid, and it’s easily prevented, but it does happen a lot,” said Emahiser.

The lifeguards put out 44 roadmarker signs last year at each access point so people would easily be able to see where they are at the beach.

With the Fourth of July and Labor Day still ahead, they’re hoping that’ll help both kids (and adults) have a better idea of where they are if they get a little turned around.

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