SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As Arthur barrels closer to the coast, emergency responders are gearing up for the brunt of the storm and launching water rescue efforts.
The mission started nearly a year ago after a young boy lost his life. Evan McReynolds was pulled out into the ocean by a rip current last July. He lost the battle to stay alive weeks later.
Since that day, the Surfside Beach Police and Fire Departments re-evaluated their resources and pushed to get water rescue gear.
The Surfside Beach Fire Department is now training to use the new jet ski and rescue boat. Later this week, the police department will have an additional jet ski.
"All our police officers are trained in water rescue so if there is a problem with rip currents, a huge problem right now, or any other emergency, they'll be prepared to respond," said Lt. Kenneth Hofmann with the Surfside Police Department.
Launching the program is perfectly timed, as the area is heading into the busy holiday weekend, especially with Hurricane Arthur creating rip currents on the coast.