MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The City of Myrtle Beach has suspended its Water Safety Franchise agreement with Myrtle Beach Lifeguards, effective Wednesday, pending a review of the lifeguards' certifications.
WMBF investigators went to the address listed on the company's website to get a comment from the owner, but no one was there. However, the name on the sign did match the signature on the agreement: H. Eugene Hudson. In the window were two business licenses, one for a law practice and the other for Myrtle Beach Lifeguards Inc.
Myrtle Beach Lifeguards covers the beach from 67th Avenue North to 77th Avenue North, zones 75 through 83, according to a news release from the city.
One couple on the beach near 73rd Avenue North said they were told by lifeguards that they would be receiving refunds for the rentals.
"Midday, the lifeguard did come up and say there was going to be a change in services tomorrow, and they were going to go ahead and refund the money up until where we had paid for it," they said.
Among other requirements, the franchise agreement require that all lifeguards have a valid lifeguard card, the release stated. The suspension is in effect pending a review of the certification of some of the franchisee's lifeguards.
During the suspension, other franchises have agreed to provide certified lifeguards to cover these zones for the public's safety, according to city spokesman Mark Kruea.
"We want the public to know that there will be certified lifeguards on the beach. That's certainly the main concern with the water safety franchises is to make sure that we do have that service up and down the beach and we want the public to be assured that these ten blocks will be covered during this interim period while the suspension is in place." said Kruea.