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Safety concerns remain at Jacksonville Beach post-Ian

Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Captain Rob Emahiser says they’ve pulled a lot of debris like wood, metal and plastic from the water and off the beach this weekend.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Jacksonville beachgoers are back to enjoying the shoreline now that the storm has passed. 

From the surface, everything may look back to normal, but the Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue crews say there’s a lot you should be aware of if you’re headed to the beach.

A trash can outside of the lifeguard station on Jacksonville Beach is full of debris Ocean Rescue and beachgoers have picked up out of the water and off the beach. 

Fisherman are also reeling debris in, from pieces of wood, metal and other sharp objects that are dangerous to beachgoers.

Stephen Matthews reeled in a massive root while fishing on the Jacksonville Beach Pier Saturday. He says since the storm debris in the water have become a nuisance to fisherman. The crew used nets to fish debris out of the water..

“The pier especially now has a new large sand bar. A lot of sand that was removed by the hurricane exposed a lot of debris. We pulled a large bundle of pier pilings from someone's dock, strapped together we got steel fence posts, lots of wood from Atlantic Beach and Neptune beach," Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Captain Rob Emahiser said. 

Emahiser says swimming near the pier is more dangerous now than before  and if you’re going to sit on the beach it may look different. 

"There’s a lot less beach, it looks steeper," Emahiser said. 

Matthews says he’ll keep off the beach, he just wants to enjoy the pier. 

“The pier is open, the pier is not damaged, we’re lucky, we just got the pier rebuilt. I’m glad we have the pier," Matthews said. 

Emahiser says they’ve treated a couple of injuries from beachgoers stepping on debris. If you see something in the water or the sand alert Ocean Rescue or city workers so they can remove it. He also says the water might look great but there is a still a threat of rip currents. 


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