JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Lifeguards say stay out of the water this weekend on First Coast beaches. Strong winds are creating large waves and rip currents.
The strong winds and large waves were felt across Jacksonville Beach Friday. Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue says “knee deep is too deep.” Also, it’s better to avoid the ocean this weekend, but it didn’t stop the curiosity of many to see what the weather was really like out there Friday.
“I came out here to see some surfers because the weather was supposed to have nice waves but there are no surfers,” Jacksonville resident Ken Howard said.
Even though surfers were advised not to ride large waves Friday, some beachgoers like Edson Lalor took advantage of the strong wind.
“I am enjoying my retirement, flying a kite on Jacksonville Beach,” Lalor said.
Jacksonville is not getting hit by Hurricane Fiona but is definitely feeling the effects and Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Captain Rob Emahiser advises beachgoers to stay out of the water.
“It's a very strong current and we want to remind everyone there is absolutely no swimming north of the pier for blocks, the current is stronger than you think and you do not want to get swept up by the pilings in the pier,” Emahiser said.
Emahiser says lifeguards will be actively patrolling the area this weekend.
“It's going to be too dangerous to put your family at risk, to put yourself at risk, so we’ll be out there warning surfers that this is not the time to find out how well you can swim,” Emahiser said.
Lalor says he has no plans to go swimming and is focused on flying his kite.
“The weather is great, it's a little too windy but I have to be careful it doesn't pull me down the beach,” Lalor said.
There is a red flag warning in effect through the weekend. This means dangerous ocean conditions like large waves and rip currents.