Lifeguards on alert as storm passes

- Red flags went up across the shore, alerting swimmers of dangerous swimming conditions brought on by nearby storms.

As subtropical storm Alberto dumps rain on the Bay area, Clearwater Beach lucked out Sunday with nearly a full day of sunshine, but the risk of rip currents kept swimmers away from the water. 

“The big message is we don’t want to give a false sense of security,” said Patrick Brafford, Clearwater's Beach Safety supervisor.

High surf and strong currents are a risky mix, and according to Brafford, the risk of rip currents is high.

“Once you get strong currents, heavy surf, or a combination of both, then you elevate the threat level and then we go to a red flag,” said Brafford.

With the holiday weekend bringing large crowds to the beach, lifeguards say they're worried people will ignore the warnings.

But many beach-goers said they are aware of the red flags, and plan to take precautions.

“You know what it, it is better to heed the advice because you honestly don’t know what’s going on in the water,” said Paul Duck, who spent the day walking along the shore.

Most visitors were just happy the sun came out.
 

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