Changes at Sea and Sky Air Show mean more work for first responders

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Suzie MacVickar lives in Arizona, but she makes the trip to Florida every year the Sea and Sky Airshow is at Jacksonville Beach.

Content Continues Below


She told Action News Jax, “It’s not a show you can see anywhere else.”

This year, swimmers are allowed out in the water while planes soar overhead.

MacVickar requested more staff, saying, “Increase lifeguards, increase law enforcement presence. I’m a nurse, increase nursing presences.”

Related: WHAT TO KNOW: Sea and Sky Air Show 2019 in Jacksonville Beach | Action News Jax reporter flies with Blue Angels

In September, Action News Jax reported Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue cut staff for the offseason.

During the airshow weekend, Ocean Rescue is more than doubling the number of lifeguards.

“We’ll have a total of 16 guards and a little bit more on Sunday,” Captain Rob Emahiser said.

He said they’ll limit how far out families can swim, and no one will be allowed around the pier.

The First Alert Weather Team's weekend forecast includes moderate to high rip currents with 3- to 4-foot surf.

Emahiser asked swimmers to make sure they’re near lifeguards when in the water.

“One with a flay up on the tower. There’s going to be a lot of spectators on empty tower and that’s going to fool people into thinking that’s a lifeguard,” Emahiser said.

MacVickar had an idea of how to help first responders.

“Pay attention to the rules. Don’t be a jerk,” she suggested. “Watch your kids around the water.”

STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories

Download WJAX Apps