by: Erica Bennett, Action News Jax Updated:
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A month into the beaches-nourishment project in Jacksonville Beach and surrounding areas, lifeguards say they’re concerned about the safety issues.
“We’ve had several people hurt, had to be taken to the hospital by rescue. Scraped up. Bruised up,” said Captain Rob Emahiser with Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue.
1) If you've been to Atlantic/Jacksonville/Neptune Beach recently, you've seen dredging pipes like this. The problems they're causing, at 6. pic.twitter.com/wVfOuQo6tG— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
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2) Here's a closer look at one of the pipes. pic.twitter.com/Wo5bVq2Ll9— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
It’s a project that shouldn't be ignored. The two-mile-long dredging pipe protrudes out of the ocean and onto the sand for several feet. There are safeguards in place to keep people away, but some beachgoers don’t seem to care. Others are steering clear.
“I know better. You can get hurt on that. It’s a lot of rust,” beachgoer Ivory Wheeler said.
There are also a lot of barnacles and sea shells. Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue tries to help from above on its watch tower by looking for climbers.
“It’s not where you want to be and you want to keep your kids away from it. You definitely don’t want to climb on it or lean on it,” Emahiser said.
3) Here's a bird's eye view of a pipe from the lifeguard tower. pic.twitter.com/mz8TGfBrVJ— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
4) Why are the pipes there? Hurricane Matthew did a doozie on our beaches. The sand and shoreline is being renourished.— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
Swimmers are also at risk. Ocean Rescue said those who are caught in a current don’t see the part of the pipe that’s underwater and can slam into it. With all the damage from Hurricane Matthew, the beach nourishment is a must so the dunes can be built back up to protect the shoreline. The hope is that we learn to live with it.
“You always go to think safety first. I mean, that’s the most important thing,” Wheeler said.
Atlantic and Neptune beaches are also part of this nourishment project.
5) The two mile long pipe pumps sand from the ocean and dumps it onto our shoreline. Lots of sand was eroded away during Hurricane Matthew.— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
6) Here's the problem: despite warnings like this, some swimmers are still climbing on the pipes. Not a good idea. pic.twitter.com/DxDLmdn0sR— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
7) Ocean Rescue tells me several people have gone to the hospital for scrapes/bruises. Not only are pipes rusty, there's barnacles on them.— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
8) If you don't like the dredging pipes, better find a way to live with them. They'll be here for another couple of months.— Erica Bennett (@EricaANjax) May 17, 2017
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