Swimmers Ignore Fla. Beach Warnings

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 14 (UPI) — Tourists and locals ignored warnings of high bacteria levels to go swimming at several beaches near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., authorities said.

Many beach-goers said they were unaware of the conditions in spite of the “swim at your own risk” signs posted this week at lifeguard stations at Hollywood and Hallandale beaches, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Saturday.

Warnings against swimming have been on-again, off-again throughout parts of the two beaches since July 15 when the first warning was issued, the newspaper said.

Many of the tourists flocking to the beaches in warm weather said they only learned of the warnings later, but didn’t seem too worried.

“Not too concerned,” Gil Langois, 32, a tourist from Quebec, said. “It’s really hot out here. What are we supposed to do?”

Water samplings in the area revealed unsafe levels of bacteria that could cause swimming-related gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu.

Gail Calvin, 43, on vacation from West Virginia, was dipping her feet in the water earlier this week at a beach where a red flag waved behind a lifeguard stand and next to a warning sign.

She ignored the warnings.

“I don’t get to do this very much,” she said. “I think I can survive a stomach ache.”

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