BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — College students will flock to Alabama’s beaches in droves during spring break. When they arrive they’ll be met by lifeguards, ready to keep them safe. Before they can guard the waters of the gulf coast, lifeguards have to complete 11 laps in a pool, in ten minutes or less. Next they’ll spend hours in the classroom and practice rescues. Once they have completed all of that, they move to the sugar white beaches. There’s a big difference between a pool and the beach though.
“The pool was about 82 degrees, out here it’s about 60, 62 degrees. That cold water plays an effect on your body. It’s harder to swim in, it’s hard to hold your breath and maintain that.” -Melvin Shepard, Orange Beach
Guarded beaches are relatively new in Orange Beach. Some of guards are already on the job. They returned to the beaches March 1st. More than a dozen are patrolling and watching from towers on the sand, making sure your day at the beach is a safe one.
Copyright 2014 WIAT-CBS42