Anna Maria Island drowning shows value of lifeguards, need for more

July 12, 2013 

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A yellow flag in the southernmost lifeguard stand on Coquina Beach cautions swimmers of a moderate risk of waves and currents. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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The front page of the Sunday morning newspaper brought news of another family grieving after their child drowned while playing on our beautiful beaches.

On Monday's front page it declared "As many as it takes," referring to Anna Maria Commissioner Gene Aubry's statement regarding the need for more lifeguard coverage.

It's sad that it takes the loss of life to realize the value of the Manatee County Marine Rescue Division lifeguards who prevent tragedies such as this on a regular basis. Unfortunately, prevention does not have the impact that lack of prevention inevitably brings.

My heart goes out to the families, and though the pain may never go away, perhaps Commissioner Aubrey's plea can prevent another loss.

Jim Pritchard

Bradenton

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