SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Two of the three no swim advisories have been lifted from Suncoast beaches.
The Florida Department of Health said it’s now safe to swim at Lido Casino and Venice Beach, but unsafe levels of bacteria are still showing in samples at Brohard Beach, so the advisory remains in place there.
A red flag waved to beach goers from the lifeguard tower at noon on the 4th of July and it wasn’t there to celebrate the country’s independence.
“I saw the sign, my husband was pitching up a tent on the beach," said Jeanette Borimonoff, a first time visitor from Lake Worth, Florida. "As soon I saw the sign, I read it, I told my husband, "hey listen it just said swimming is not recommended.”
But at 2 p.m. the red flag changed to green at Lido Casino beach, indicating the no swim advisory there was lifted.
“Lido Casino Beach is again open for swimming, and the advisory has been lifted for that, as well as Venice Beach," said Steve Huard, Public Information Officer/ Communications Manager for the Florida Department of Health’s Sarasota Office.
The Florida Department of Health said high levels of enterococcus bacteria are still showing in Brohard Beach, so the no swim advisory will remain in effect there until the results of Friday’s re-sampling come in on Saturday. Until then, staff recommend beach goers don’t get into the water.
Swallowing the water when high levels of enterococcus are present could cause stomach illness or even infections and rashes for those who have cuts or bruises.
“The conditions right now in Florida are very hot, the water is very hot so that encourages the growth of these types of bacteria and that’s why we sample for them,” Huard added.
This is why the Health Department said even without a no swim advisory, beach goers should remain cautious at any beach they go to when it’s this hot, especially those who are children, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system.
“It’s concerning," said Borimonoff. "I have a 3-year-old and the last thing I want to do is spend my vacation going to a hospital, going to an urgent care and being concerned, not only for her health but our health as well. So I’d rather be safe than sorry and if it takes for me not exposing her or myself to the water or my family then that’s what it’s gonna take.”
Just before 5 p.m. on the 4th of July, the lifeguards changed that flag again from green to yellow to indicate a medium hazard since a storm was rolling in.
This is why FDOH staff said it’s so important for anyone planning a trip to the beach to check for the latest beach conditions on their website, by clicking here.
For more information on the latest testing for bacteria, click here.