There have been some crazy conditions lately. The water has already hit 88 degrees, multiple high tides and rain events have flooded the beaches, tons of rough days with really strong rip currents, and some completely flat still days.

It’s hard to know what’s coming next. Our philosophy is that we just plan for every day to be crowded with really rough surf and blue skies. That way we don’t get caught off guard.

All the rain inland has played havoc with the beachfront. It’s interesting when the rivers get bloated and bring all the inland flora and fauna to the beach. We see freshwater plants washing up on the shoreline and changes in salinity can cause algae blooms.

We even see an occasional alligator wash up. These are rare, but typically we just keep them separated from the beach crowds until Texas Parks and Wildlife or Animal Control comes to relocate them.

This week has been crazy with our Junior Guard program starting, Personal Rescue Craft Rescuer Academy, dispatch training, night boat operations training and all the normal beach drama and wild weather. But our staff has been going full tilt and handling it well. I’m really proud of them and love seeing how they all pull together when things get intense.

We made the decision to have a third lifeguard academy this summer, so if you know anyone who is interested, the tryouts will be at 7 a.m. June 17 at the University of Texas Medical Branch pool. If they’re accepted, the paid training starts the same day and continues for nine days. Information and application forms are at www.galvestonislandbeachpatrol.com.

Spend your summer on the beach in a fun, challenging and a responsible position working for the Galveston Island Beach Patrol. And we need the help.

On June 14, we will have our annual Beach Patrol BBQ and fundraiser at 24th and Postoffice streets. If you haven’t been you should definitely check it out. It’s the beach party of the summer. You can support your lifeguards while rubbing elbows with area politicians, public safety professionals, beach vendors, junior guards, surfers, beach celebrities and a wide range of Galveston’s most interesting characters.

First-class musician (and Wave Watcher) Robert Krout will be on from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by the well-known local DJ Joe Rios. They will keep us entertained, food will be excellent and we’ll have a silent auction. Proceeds support our program and go for many good things including scholarships for guards, equipment, public education, competition, lifeguard exchange, etc. But most of all it’s a really good time and a chance to connect with those who keep our beaches clean, attractive, and safe.

For tickets, check with any lifeguard, the Park Board, area surf shops, or come by our headquarters on Stewart Beach. If you need a few you can even call for ticket delivery at 409-763-4769. If you have something you’d like to donate for the silent auction, it’s tax deductible. Just bring it by our headquarters or call our number to make arrangements.

Peter Davis is chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol. The views in this column are Davis’ and do not necessarily represent those of the Beach Patrol, Galveston Park Board of Trustees or any other entity.

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