VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Lifeguards in Virginia Beach are offering advice on how to keep children safe this summer while in the water.
At the official halfway point in the 2022 summer tourist season, families from across the globe celebrated Independence Day with picture-perfect conditions at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
98 Lifeguards around resort beaches are watching the waves and the sand. Every few minutes a child is separated from their parents or guardians.
“Last summer on July 4th, we had 119 lost and found cases. All were reunited that same day. Our record was in 2012; it was 167[lost children] in a single day,” said Tom Gill, Chief of the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service.
“That’s really scary and something that we hear a lot about,” said Melanie Finch who is vacationing with her family from the Knoxville area.
Lifeguards are trained to help find lost children, but they are calling on the adults to do their part.
“It’s a big beach out here; everything looks the same and a child is going to get turned around in a second and lose where their family is sitting.”
Gill has this simple advice for parents and other adults.
“Never take your eyes off your children whether they be in the sand or in the water. You’ve got to be your family’s lifeguard, lifesaver, and watcher, and all times again; this has got to be a team effort.”