Grand Strand lifeguards prepare for fall season - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Grand Strand lifeguards prepare for fall season

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - September ushers in the usual slow-down along the Grand Strand, and many locals take advantage of that by going to the beach.

But staying close to the lifeguards and their trained eyes is important for many parents.

Hoteliers are telling lifeguard companies they're busier in September than August, so that means lifeguards will be sticking around for a little while longer keeping a watchful eye on the tides.

"Right now we are on 85 percent for Myrtle Beach, and we are 80 percent for North Beach service, and 75 percent for south strand service," explained Martina Zirosova, recruiting and training manager for Lack's Beach Service:

Lack's is not phasing out lifeguards just yet, based on hotel occupancy. By the end of September, though, they expect to be at 50 percent.  Come October, the only lifeguards you'll see will be downtown.

"Last year we stayed until... til November 14," Zirosova said. 

Another thing parents may worry about is the aquatic hazards that lurk off shore.

Zirosova said jelly fish don't hang around the shoreline once September rolls around, but the torrential rain earlier this week brought another hazard closer to shore.

Bait fish come close to cooler water, which the rain causes, and sand sharks follow.
"Alot of sharks in the surf, "according to Zirosova. "So basically what we do, we clear the water, get people out until they move on."

Keep eyes on the lifeguard flags flying at the stands along the beach.

If there's a danger in the water-  jelly fish or sharks or  rip currents, they'll let you know.

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