Lifeguards seeing more rip currents this year - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Lifeguards seeing more rip currents this year

By Trey Paul - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) –  If you ask safety experts, they will tell you every time you set foot in the water, you're putting yourself at risk.

Huggins Beach Service lifeguard Steven Harmon knows risks, especially when there's a threat of rip currents.

"Rip Currents can pull you out in a heartbeat and you wouldn't know what happened to you," he said.

Safety experts with the National Weather Service say if you're caught in one, swim parallel to the shore and be careful if you notice foam being swept out to sea quickly.

So far this summer, Harmon has had to rescue a ten year old from a rip current.

"He didn't know how to swim and he was stomach deep. He gets pulled out by a rip current before he ever knew what was going on," he said.

In fact he says he's been a part of more rip current rescues this year than ever.  So far, he's seen about a dozen.

Harmon also deals with the problem of people going in the water too deep.  He says there's a Myrtle Beach City ordinance that says you can only go into the water up to your chest.

"People always try to swim out. They don't know what you can and can't do," he said.

And that's where Harmon comes in.  And he hopes this news story helps as well.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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