This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Flagler County Fire Rescue saved a swimmer who was caught in a rip current off Hammock Resort Wednesday. Three swimmers had gone out to try and rescue the man before a 9-1-1 call brought Fire Rescue to the scene where the man was in about 10 feet of water and past the break. Two of the rescuers returned to shore realizing they weren’t strong enough and fire personnel swam to the swimmer in trouble and the remaining rescuer. Both the swimmers got back to shore safely. A rip current caught the first swimmer and he attempted to swim back in but couldn’t make it. According to statistics nationwide, rip currents make up about 80 percent of lifeguard-related emergencies. Best way to get out of a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore until getting out of the current. Fire Rescue praised the rescue attempt by the three individuals.
More rip currents and high tides are expected this weekend as Hurricane Sam’s effects begin to be felt along the East Coast. St. Johns and Flagler counties no longer have lifeguards on the beaches and beachgoers need to use caution, say county officials. Expect to see surfers taking advantage of the waves.
Next Tuesday Palatka Mayor Terrell Hill is slated to go before the Putnam County School Board, reportedly seeking to get the rest of Jenkins Middle School at the end of North 19th Street. He wants to turn the former school into a city government complex reportedly including city hall and city services including sanitation trucks. He’s already asked fellow commissioners to stand up with him. That’s raising some questions since three of the commissioners work for the Putnam School District. The city posted today they’re having a giveaway of all the items at the Jenkins Gym, a building they acquired recently for $10 and are spending about $370,000 to repair.
In Melrose today a Health and Wellness Fair is going on at the Melrose Community Center on State Road 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available without an appointment. On Monday free shots are available at Five Oaks Rest Home, 611 Old Welaka Road in Welaka from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In Flagler County an Island Festival PC 4 Kanaval is Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. at Central Park/Town Center in Palm Coast. On Saturday Shantytown Village off A1A holds The Undead Cemetery from 7 to 10 p.m.
In St. Augustine it’s First Friday Art Walk tonight along King Street. St. Augustine Art Association will host its annual Fall Members Show opening tonight. Sykes Family Farm Corn Maze opens tonight and runs each weekend in October. Guy Harvey Outpost Resort hosts Pups & Sups tonight and on Saturday it’s the Hang 20 Pups and Sups Surfing Contest. Pink Up the Pace 5K Walk/Run for breast cancer awareness is Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. from the Visitor Information Center. The Players Donna 5K Walk/Run for breast cancer is also Saturday at TPC Sawgrass. Lots of music downtown Saturday with the inaugural Start the Music Festival at Colonial Oak Music Park downtown, two Forever Motown show musical at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and at Lewis Auditorium in downtown St. Augustine EMMA Concert Series hosts the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra.
In Palatka Florida School of the Arts presents the play “Lobby Hero” tonight through Sunday at the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. Saturday Azalea City Cruisers hosts their 42nd annual antique car and truck show at Putnam County Fairgrounds in East Palatka. On Saturday Water Works Environmental Education Center hosts a Fall Garden Workshop, nature tours by William Bartram and tours of the old water works built in 1886 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Center at 1101 White Water Drive in Palatka.