Lifeguards on 30A

Beach vacations are fun – that’s a no brainer. However, as with any outdoor activity, there is an inherent risk when it comes to splashing in the biggest pool-slash-playground in the world. It’s important to recognize the role of safety in creating an environment that leads to a fun and memorable vacation. For this reason, Scenic Highway 30A is dedicated to providing an incredible staff of lifeguards to keep locals and visitors safe so that everyone can take full advantage of South Walton.

Being a beach lifeguard is much more than sitting on the beach all day, getting tan, and looking cool. It’s more than blowing a whistle. It’s more than taking in the gorgeous view. Our 30A lifeguards are some of the most important individuals on the beach. After all, they are tasked with keeping beachgoers safe and saving lives! These guys and gals are constantly on the lookout for any signs of trouble on the beach – from struggling swimmers, sharks, potentially dangerous activities, and more. It certainly isn’t a job for the faint of heart or for someone who simply wants to get their tan on!

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is in charge of providing qualified lifeguards on 30A during the beach season, and they take their job very seriously. 30A lifeguards must be a minimum of 17 years of age, be able to use all safety equipment, and maintain a certain level of physical fitness. All lifeguards must be able to swim 500 meters in the open water in less than ten minutes and complete a 1.2-mile beach run in less than 12 minutes. The lifeguards train as a team multiple times a week to stay in peak shape. Because lifeguards are the first responders to 911 calls from the beaches, many have medical backgrounds and hold EMT certifications. Another important attribute of 30A lifeguards is their commitment to keeping their beloved beaches a safe and fun environment for all.

So, when and where can you expect to see these dedicated and qualified life savers? 30A beach lifeguards monitor the beaches at ten designated locations along the sandy shores from March through October between 10 am and 6 pm. The lifeguard stations are located at the public regional beach access points, including: Inlet Beach Access 2B, Santa Clara, Van Ness Butler Jr, Grayton Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Gulfview Heights, Ed Walline, Dune Allen, Miramar Beach, and Geronimo Street.

Of course, outside of lifeguard monitoring hours, it is still important for beachgoers to maintain a safety mindset. Whether or not the lifeguards are on-duty, we urge vacationers to be aware of the beach flags, each of which provides a different message to our Gulf swimmers. A double red flag means that the water is closed, and no one should be swimming or splashing in the waves. A red flag indicates a high hazard, such as high surf and/or strong currents, and swimmers should be extra cautious in their water activities. A yellow flag identifies a medium hazard of moderate surf and/or moderate currents, while a green flag means calm conditions. When a purple flag flies, swimmers should be aware that marine pests are present.

We love that vacationers come from all around the world to experience the glorious beaches of South Walton, and we want everyone to be as safe as possible to create the very best vacation memories. Once you’ve booked your vacation and your beach house, be sure to locate the nearest lifeguard stations and beach flags, so you can enjoy your beach time to the fullest!