By Lorraine Thompson
Memorial Day weekend in St. Johns County marks the beginning of full-scale guardedÂ beaches. St. Johns County Fire Rescue staff includes a team of United States LifesavingÂ Association certified beach lifeguards who will staff 16 lifeguard towers along St. JohnsÂ Countyâ€™s 42 miles of beaches.
Guards will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through LaborÂ Day. Staff supervisors will lend added support as they travel the coastline in various responseÂ Beach flags and signage are posted at beach access points and lifeguard towers. TheyÂ provide daily condition updates to beachgoers as well as safety information regarding ripÂ currents and other common beach hazards.
In accordance with sea turtle nesting season restrictions, beach gates are locked at 7:30Â p.m. Motorists who remain on the beach after that time may be subject to fines.
Most of the driving areas on the beaches are now one-way south only. Motorists areÂ cautioned to obey the 10-MPH speed limit and to drive in the vehicle lane as designated by theÂ orange cones which are in place 24/7.
For detailed information on rip currents and beach safety, visit us http://www.sjcfl.us/MarineRescue/Safety.aspx or www.facebook.com/sjcfirerescue
Daily rates through September 30 for vehicles entering the beaches at the designated ramps:
- $6 for St. Johns County residents ; $7 for non-residents
- Annual passes for St. Johns County residents are $40; $60 for non-county residents; $30
- Three day passes are available for $15 for residents and $18 for non-residents. Passes areÂ available only at the toll booths. Daily toll booth hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.