Daytona Beach sees ‘quiet’ spring break as New Smyrna Beach faces rowdy crowds

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida. – Volusia County Lifeguards have been busy with Spring Breakers. On Friday, the county’s Beach Safety Patrol said it completed 29 rescues and is preparing for a busy weekend ahead.

Some families and students will be just starting their beach break while others are packing their bags to head home. Many visitors to Daytona Beach said it wasn’t as crowded as it used to be.

“Restaurants have been pretty quiet, beaches have been quiet,” said Matthew, visiting from Tennessee.

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Residents of Daytona Beach said the same thing.

“I don’t think it’s been as crazy as usual,” said Theresa, who lives by the beach.

Volusia County Beach Safety said that was the case in Daytona Beach with much of the crowd made up of families or college students.

“New Smyrna has been a little busier than expected. We’ve sent extra staff in this way to try and cater to these larger than usual crowds,” Captain Laura Warner said.

Crowds at New Smyrna Beach (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

Warner said most New Smyrna Beach vacationers were high school students from central Florida.

It was also a big deal for police this year who said most teenagers had no adults with them and were causing trouble or destruction to businesses on Flagler Avenue. City leaders eventually implemented an 11 p.m. curfew for anyone under the age of 18.

“I am completely amazed that a parent would allow a 15 or 16 year old to go away for a week,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

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This is a situation that Chitwood is monitoring for the future. He said hotels, Airbnbs and law enforcement will also have to crack down on adults.

“Drinking minors – lock them up. You walk into 7-11 as groupies and think it’s OK to rob the store blind – lock them up. That’s what it should be,” he said. “We will tell you that your children have been locked up. If you tell us you are not picking up your child, we will get a warrant and charge you with endangering the welfare of a child.

Although most Central Florida districts return to school next week, the Beach Patrol said their busy season is just getting started.

“We’re still anticipating large crowds probably in the next few weeks,” Warner said. “We will always have the big college and university spring break coming up.”

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.

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