NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – On top of making sure all of the equipment needed to patrol is ready, North Myrtle Beach's beach patrol is also training the people who put their lives on the line to save others.
A group of lifeguards didn't hesitate to run into the very cold water Tuesday afternoon, imagining someone was in the ocean and needed their help.
Beach patrol member Monty Reed said real, "on the beach" training is exactly what lifeguards go through before hitting the sand on their own. The seven-day academy teaches them everything from CPR and first aid to spinal injury management.
"As far as the lifeguards go, the biggest thing, the biggest aspect we like to instill in them while they're training is to stay calm," Reed said.
From being put to the physical test to knowing how to get through the water safely, Reed said all bases are covered.
'We have a lot of in-shore holes (and) sand bars," he said. "All of that can be a real hazard to a lifeguard responding to an emergency. They could hurt their ankle, roll their ankle (or) break their ankle. Something could go wrong."
Reed added that another important factor is communication, even in the most hectic of situations. That means making sure individuals in need of assistance know that the lifeguard is there to help them.
Those lifeguards also maintain a regular training schedule.
"We train twice a week, every week, the entire summer," Reed said. "Twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I recommend people come out here and watch us train. I think they will really like it."
As much as the lifeguards and patrol officers are making sure the beach is covered, the city is also asking residents and visitors to look at the beach rules beforehand.
Right now, informational magnets are being distributed to all the rental properties, notifying people what is and is not allowed.
On the "No" list are beach tents, laser pointers, leaving items on the beach past 7 p.m., and leaving holes without filling them back up.
One exception is baby tents no larger than 31 inches high by 31.5 inches wide by 38 inches deep. They may be used year-round for infants 18 months old or younger.