Spring Break in full effect at South Padre Island

Fifteen-degree weather and rain need not apply on South Padre Island during Spring Break 2012.

The first batch of the 40,000 to 45,000 college students expected during March have arrived - most coming from outside of Texas and enjoying the warm weather and sunny skies.

It's quite a drastic change in weather for these students from Minnesota.

"We love it...Amazing...Feels nice"

The students from St. Cloud State University said it TMs quite a change in weather which they described as amazing. They said SPI was their pick for a Spring Break destination for several reasons.

"(Panama City, FL) is too far away, and Cancun is just too expensive," Evan Carter said.

Convention and Visitors Bureau Event Coordinator Mary Hancock said 2012 is a comeback year for "Padre" as they anticipate the largest crowds of the past five years.

"A lot of that has to do with the way the schools are breaking this year, Hancock said. They typically break during Texas week (but) Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma will be breaking|following Texas week. (It gives those schools) more room to come, more rooms available and (for the Island) much bigger crowds towards the end of the month."

Large numbers of college students looking for a good time, can also increase the potential for disaster.

Once again, Island emergency responders and police have staged make-shift, 16-bed hospital on Coca-Cola beach, and for the first time, a paramedic will be rolling up to those in need with ease.

"(There will be) one guy on a motorcycle so he can get there fast, get through traffic and then assess the situation, SPI Fire Chief Burney Baskett said. If it's obviously a serious situation, we'll keep the ambulance going, (but) if it's a minor emergency or minor injury that he can handle, he'll treat it.

Although some students said they TMve been given advice about rules during Spring Break on SPI, Baskett said students simply have to follow the law.

Abide by the law and you'll have a great time, Baskett said. If you're here to cause problems, and if you do cause issues, unfortunately you're going to get a close up and personal introduction to law enforcement."