County beach officials offer safety tips as crowds arrive to SPI

4 months 2 days 5 hours ago Sunday, May 28 2023 May 28, 2023 May 28, 2023 7:35 PM May 28, 2023 in News - Local

South Padre Island is experiencing large crowds for the Memorial Day holiday, meaning first responders will be putting in overtime to maintain public safety as people descend on the area for the unofficial summer kickoff.

“We anticipate to be very busy,” South Padre Island fire Chief Jim Pigg said. “The occupancy is way up as far as the numbers for our hotels, so it's just going to be a very busy weekend."

There's no shortage of reasons why so many have decided on South Padre Island as their Memorial Day destination, but the larger crowds draw more safety concerns for first responders.

The Cameron County Beach Patrol unit will also be out to help first responders, and are asking the public to keep an eye on the warnings before heading into the water.

“We do have flag warning systems throughout all our beaches,” Cameron County Beach Patrol Chief Art Hurtado. “They can always contact us for the information on the current conditions if they're not sure about the water.”

The beach patrol department is also asking people to not drink and swim.

“Alcohol and water don't mix, that's a very common issue that we have out here,” Hurtado said. “Don't drink, it gives you a false confidence. The water is a lot more dangerous than you think it is."

Pigg also said those bringing their pets to the beach should also be aware of the safety of their pets.

“We have a lot of animals who have burned paws that people take them out to the beach and don't realize that they can get burned just as bad as a human foot,” Pigg said.

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