PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Don't go in the water — that's what the National Weather Service is advising for the next few days at some Pinellas County beaches.
A beach hazards statement was issued Saturday night. It will remain in effect through Monday night.
The statement specifically advises beachgoers not to go into the water at beaches along coastal southern Pinellas County. The advisory didn't stop people from flocking to the beaches and taking a dip in the water.
"I was in it yesterday, I'd get in it today," said Mike Copher Sr., who was in town visiting family. "[The smell is] actually less offensive in the water than it is sitting here."
Copher's son, Mike Copher Jr. lives in the St. Pete area. The two were enjoying the Pass-a-Grille beach on Sunday. Copher Jr. says red tide and the stench of dead fish are just a part of being a resident.
"What else can you do," said Copher Jr. "I'm here ain't I? It comes with the territory."
The hazards statement is because of red tide at the beaches. It can cause respiratory irritation with symptoms including coughing, sneezing, and tearing eyes. People with asthma, emphysema or any chronic lung disease may be more sensitive to the effects of red tide.
Back on June 11, the Pinellas County health department issued a health warning for red tide blooms along the county's beaches. Health officials say their warning remains in effect.
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