High temperatures create safety concerns during busy beach weekend

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. —

The central Florida coast is packed for the long holiday weekend, but it’s not the water that safety officials are most worried about.

Rip currents are still an issue at the beaches but officers are keeping a close eye on people on the shore because of the hot temperatures.

The searing central Florida heat drove thousands to the coast.

James Richie and his family found a comfortable spot on New Smyrna Beach oceanside to beat the heat.

“This is the first time spending Memorial Day with my family in eight years,” Richie said.

Others opted to claim their spot on the sand, which became prime real estate for many who were beach-bound.

“It’s getting hotter every year. It takes about 30 minutes to burn,” said beachgoer Michelle Radcliffe.

Under the watchful eye of Beach Patrol and lifeguards, the ocean was a sensible place to escape some of the oppressive mid-90 degree temperatures in the city.

Saturday was the hottest day of the year so far, with most of central Florida hitting temperatures in the mid to upper 90s.