If you’ve tried watching Deerfield Beach’s underwater webcam lately, then you’ve probably been watching the highlights reel.
Rebecca Medina Stewart, the Director of Public Affairs and Marketing for Deerfield Beach, says the webcam was pulled out of the water for safekeeping during Hurricane Irma. But the cable that runs under the city’s pier was badly damaged.
Damaged enough, that the live video stream has been off for more than eight weeks now.
“Oh my goodness, we get calls on this thing daily,” Stewart said. “What we mostly hear is, ‘you know, this is what I use to relax during the day when I take my break, and so we just want to know when it’s gonna be back on.”
The city has had the live stream showing fish swim by for over two years now.If you Google ‘Deerfield Beach,’ the second thing that pops up is the city’s underwater web camera.
Since it started streaming, its popularity has only grown, and even exploded. Those viewers who call asking when it will be back are all around the U.S., and Canada.
Stewart said many people who love to watch have autistic children who are soothed by the serene water and colorful fish.
“If it’s a bright and sunny day outside, the water is bright and blue and clear,” she said. “I mean, you can see the pillars under our pier.”
But Deerfield isn’t the only city that wants a slice of webcam fame.
Pompano Beach already has three webcams, showing inlets, the beach, and a webcam showing the construction process for the city’s new pier.
The city already has a contract with the new pier’s developers to include an underwater webcam, just like Deerfield Beach.
But the rivalry over this successful marketing scheme is a friendly one.
“They [Deerfield Beach] beat us underwater, but I really don’t look at it as a competition. I look at it as we all want people to come to South Florida,” says Pompano Beach’s Public Communications Director Sandra King.
What Pompano Beach has learned from its above-water webcams, is that divers, boaters and beachgoers alike find it useful for planning days spent outside.
Deerfield Beach expects its underwater camera to be back online in just a few more weeks. In the meantime, the highlights reel seems to be a good placeholder for its diehard fans.