Waterspout formed during lifeguard competition
By Virgil Dugo
Editor: Miguel Arango
During the United States Lifeguard
Association Regional Surf Lifeguard Championships, a waterspout came ashore and injured 3 people.
One woman, who was 45 years old, was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries, while 2 others were treated on the beach.
A fair weather waterspout came ashore south of the Pompano Pier at roughly 3:45 pm on Friday, July 19th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a fair weather waterspout as a funnel that develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, the waterspout is near maturity. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little (Source, http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/waterspout.html). This waterspout arrived in the middle of the lifeguard championships where hundreds of lifeguards were locked in heavy competition. The lifeguards were competing in the 4 x 100 relays at the time.
One spectator, who was on location for the lifeguard equipment company eLifeguard.com, Chris Daniels, had this to say, “We were on a [business] trip for eLifeguard.com to support our local lifeguards and anyone who is a lifeguard. There was a good turnout and everyone was having a good time. When it [the waterspout] came ashore we were all shocked, it just took everyone by surprise.”
Another observer, Javan Clarke, added these comments, “I was out to take photos of this event. It was awe inspiring to see all the lifeguards out here competing, I could feel their dedication to save lives. The waterspout was just traumatic, it was something unexpected.”
When the waterspout made landfall it dissipated quickly and the competition was back on track. Mr. Daniels added that the spirits of the junior lifeguards were not broken. They were still pumped to be there. Mr. Clark said that they really helped bring the energy back.
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