VB water rescues increase as lifeguards pull out more than 700 people this summer

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach lifeguards concluded a busy summer on Labor Day, with a large increase in the number water rescues completed compared to the prior year. 

“We were over 700 people pulled out so far this summer (from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day), so it was big it was a big summer for us,” said Tom Gill, chief of the Virginia Beach Life Saving Service.

That’s well over 200 additional rescues from the same time period in 2017, when Gill said 435 people had to be pulled out of the water. Sandbars and rough surf lead to issues earlier this summer, Gill told 10 On Your Side.

“It’s unbelievable the amount of work those lifeguards on the stands do,” Gill said. “We owe it all to them for what they do on those lifeguard stands everyday.”

The number of guards sitting in the stands will now decrease, as they prepare for the end of the season in two weeks. 

“If you are going to go in the water you better know the ocean, you better know your limits and stay very close to shore,” Gill said. 

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