Stay safe on Norfolk beaches: Tips from police

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There’s no telling how big the beach crowd will be this weekend, but with miles of new sand added in Ocean View, the city is preparing for a party.

The summer kickoff beach party starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and nothing ruins a good time more than getting hurt or in trouble.

Gallery: Norfolk police ready for start of summer

Last summer, police wrote about 500 tickets to beachgoers in Norfolk. Officer Wallace Folscher told 10 On Your Side one of the biggest concerns is people trespassing on the rock jetties.

“We have a lot of people get cuts, razor cuts,” Officer Folscher said. “We’ve also had drownings that I can recall where the current was so bad and the kids or the people were caught underneath the rock jetties.”

Climbing on the slick rocks is not just a danger, it’s a crime.

“It actually carries a fine up to $2,500 and can be up to one year in jail,” Officer Folscher said.

Same goes for alcohol and any glass bottle — they’re banned.

Officer Jay Marshall told WAVY.com, “Please don’t bring your grills onto the sand itself. We have the parks to where you can grill and it’s charcoal only. Do not bring propane grills.”

Dogs are also not allowed on the public beaches between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. They are allowed before and after those hours, but only on a leash.

Small children, police say, should never be further than arms’ reach from a parent. Norfolk’s Division Head of Aquatics & Beaches, Dan Jones, warns parents that distractions — like cell phones — can be disastrous.

“Last summer, I exited the stand, went right past a mother that was staring in the direction of her child, but staring at her cell phone.”

Jones pulled the struggling 6-year-old out of the water.

“Pulled him in right next to the mom. Mom didn’t have any idea. That happens almost every day.”

There will be nearly a dozen police officers patrolling Norfolk’s beaches this weekend. Lifeguards will be out at Ocean View Beach Park, Sarah Constant Beach and Community Beach Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.