Jekyll Must prepare for traffic
The Brunswick News
April 15, 2015

The Jekyll Island Authority is hopefully prepared for what will undoubtedly be larger crowds on the beach of the state park this summer. With the opening of the Westin and the complete opening of the Holiday Inn Resort, as well as the opening of the village shopping district, you bet there will be more people on the island in May, June, July and August, and not just on the weekends either.

More people, of course, more adults and families, mean more potential problems, more potential accidents. It also means there will be more men, women and children who are unfamiliar with the ocean and its currents.

It also means the authority, which governs Jekyll, needs to be more attuned to its shores and what’s going on within a leisurely swim of the island.

Glynn County is prepared. As it did last summer, it will post numerous lifeguards at the public beaches. It’s not a 100 percent guarantee the public always will be safe, but it sharply minimizes the chances of losing someone to wild currents or tidal changes.

This is not to say Jekyll Island should do the same. What it has done in the immediate past has apparently been helpful.

At the very least, though, it might consider adopting the same flag warning system the county uses to advise beachgoers and swimmers of adverse conditions, especially when they are not readily apparent. Surprise is often the case to visitors who did not grow up near the ocean. Tides and currents sneak up on them and, just like that, create a stressful, panicky situation.

The flags won’t keep everyone informed of conditions and safe. Godzilla jumping up and down in the middle of the beach wearing a baseball cap, high-top neon sneakers and an apple red lifeguard shirt couldn’t even do that.

The flags will, however, present an opportunity for visitors to learn a little something about the conditions of the sea they and their children are about to enter.

That alone could make the difference between a fun day at the beach and a potential nightmare.