Lifeguards rescue more than 200 people at Volusia County beaches over holiday weekend

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Volusia County Beach Safety is warning people about dangerous conditions at the beach.


Lifeguards rescued more than 200 people on Saturday.

As the crowds increase, there’s one problem — lifeguard staffing is short.

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“We stepped up our recruiting efforts and are also giving our returning guards a $500 bonus, which we haven’t done I the past,” said Deputy Chief Tamara Malphurs.

Beach Safety said its fully staffed capacity is 300 lifeguards. It currently only has 200 lifeguards.

“Everyone is working harder with less. Everyone is just on their ‘A’ game all the time,” Malphurs said.

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The pay for lifeguards is $13.24 an hour. Lifeguards must undergo 48 hours of ocean rescue training and a 40-hour first responder class.

The department said those requirements can make it tough to compete with other summer jobs that are easier to get with higher pay.

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The department said it will continue to staff towers based on crowds and water conditions, with a mix of overtime.

Last week, lifeguards pulled 300 people out of the water.

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