Hello Kim. I was surprised to read your comment about there being no lifeguards at the Fort Lauderdale beaches. I thought it would be helpful to cut and paste from the City of Fort Lauderdale's website on its Ocean Rescue page:
"Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue supervises three miles of continuous public beach from the South Beach Picnic Area up to and including the beach in front of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. In the guarded areas of the beach, there are 20 year-round, permanently staffed lifeguard towers spaced between 200 and 400 yards apart. There are also as many as 10 temporary-auxiliary stands that are used during the peak season, special events and holidays.
In the lifeguard-supervised areas of Fort Lauderdale Beach, drowning is very rare. The most recent incident was more than 20 years ago. Most water-related fatalities occur in unsupervised waters distant from lifeguard towers."
There is a lot of very important information on the subject on this website and I recommend you check it out at http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/oceanrescue/
- I think it will certainly put your mind at rest.
If I can help you with any more information, please don't hesitate to contact me - we have the most beautiful beaches that are safe and family oriented. Lauderdale by the Sea has the pier which is also great for fishing.
This is an amazing time down here for well qualified buyers - current market conditions in this area are extremely conducive to finding a property at a great price and as you know, financial circumstances are such that many sellers are very highly motivated.
I hope this helped!
Best regards from sunny South Florida!
Villa G Realty