Jacksonville Beach prepares for Tropical Storm Arthur



JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Storm season is here -- meaning beach-goers are on alert.  

"We saw the red flag and knew about the red flag today so we're not going out as deep," Laurel Wiley said. 

"You can feel it as the tide goes back out. You can feel it. You can recognize it," another swimmer said. 

The First Alert Weather Center expects Tropical Storm Arthur to pass Jacksonville Beach latitude by 100+ miles offshore late Wednesday. Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue said people should expect strong rip currents.

"You try to swim it ashore and you get caught. It's almost like swimming in one of those infinity pools or like running on a treadmill. You're just not getting anywhere," Lt. Timothy Cline said. 

Rough surf is something Floridians are used to, but Ocean Rescue doesn't want anyone to take any chances. The plan is to add patrols to the most dangerous areas and be up to 50 lifeguards by Fourth of July Friday. 

Despite those preparations, there is also a sense of business as usual. 

"'Until it's knocking on my door, panic doesn't do any good," one swimmer said. 

If you get caught in a rip current, Ocean Rescue says to swim parallel to the shore and try to get the attention of a lifeguard as fast as you can. To date, rip currents are still the leading cause of death in the state of Florida.