Officials warn against rip currents of oncoming storm -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Officials warn against rip currents of oncoming storm

. - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County beaches continue to be closed to swimming and other water activities, as ordered by the Horry County Police Department.

"It looks enticing, but it really isn't. There are some hidden dangers people don't realize," explained Donnie Constransitch, a North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Officer.

Those dangers are below the water's surface, especially strong rip currents.

"Here, the rip currents are anywhere from 50-100 yards out," said Constransitch.

Earlier this week, Constransitch had to pull a young boy from a rip current. He said doctors pumped 20 ounces of water out of his lungs.

Constransitch believes the boy was able to leave the hospital yesterday evening; he hopes no one else ends up there in the first place.

"It's complex for a water rescue. You don't want to enter at the wrong point, and you don't want to underestimate the current," he said.

To battle that, his team of lifeguards uses storms like this one to get out and train. His department stresses the importance of physical fitness.

"If there is a nice storm, we like to get them in the water to let them feel what it would be like if there was a rescue," explained Constransitch.

They'll be out all day keeping people from going out too far, and stay in constant contact with the National Weather Service.

"Every day they call us and get a surf report, to put it into their CAD system to see if everything is adding up," he said.

This storm could have a longer impact on our beaches than just a few days of swimming advisories, it is also shrinking the sand area.

"I've seen storms bring in sand, but I've seen more take away. At Cherry Grove, right now you could go up and maybe have about 5 foot of beach," said Constransitch.

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