Red tide puts damper on family’s Pinellas County beach vacation

Red Tide

INDIAN SHORES, Fla (WFLA) – Red Tide is putting a damper on tourism and vacations. The Belville family drove 20 hours from Wisconsin to enjoy a week at the beach, only to be welcomed with the sights and smells of red tide.

“We were just kind of instantly let down and little stressed. Like it’s bad, are we going to stay this whole week?!” said Alex Belville.

The family of five was aware of the red tide in the area but didn’t know the severity of it.

“We all kind of had some symptoms, my husband had burning eyes, my chest was tight and my throat was sore,” said Chelsea Belville.

Chelsea Belville tells 8 On Your Side that the local Facebook group she is a part of misled her a bit.

“Everyone was posting ‘great day at the beach,’ ‘its ok great day at the beach, stop spreading false information.’ So we thought it would be fine too,” said Chelsea Belville.

The family has spent their time either inside of their beach house rental or at other Tampa Bay area attractions that aren’t near the water which isn’t something they planned to do on this trip.

“I definitely spent a lot more than what I planned on, on this trip,” added Alex.

But they were just trying to make the best of their family vacation.

“We’ve tried to stay optimistic for our kids because this was a big trip for them and we just wanted to make the most of it for them,” said Chelsea.

The Belville’s tell 8 On Your Side the red tide hasn’t deterred them from coming back to the area. Next time, they will just make sure there is no red tide anywhere in the area.  

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