MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Other lifeguarding services have taken over responsibility for now for watching swimmers and renting out beach equipment in the section of beach belonging to Myrtle Beach Lifeguards, whose agreement with the city was suspended.
Lack's Beach Service and John's Beach Service split the section of beach, each contributing five lifeguards, one mobile lifeguard and one supervisor.
George Lack, the owner of Lack's, and Nick Jackson, the general manager of John's, said they found out Monday afternoon; the lifeguards started Wednesday, and they're not sure how long they'll need to continue to cover the area.
Lack said it was quite an undertaking at first to get the beach covered, but he said he was able to use extra lifeguards or lifeguards who were out for a portion of the summer and ready to return.
He said the lifeguards started at 5 a.m. Wednesday to start moving the rental equipment onto the beach.
As for John's Beach Service, Jackson said he was overstaffed, so he had people who could jump in, but he will now have to now limit the number of days off his staff members can take each week from up to three days to under two days.
He said his lifeguards didn't set up rental equipment Wednesday out of respect for the owner of Myrtle Beach Lifeguards, but they got the rental equipment ready Wednesday to set up Thursday.
Jackson said this is not something he wants to do, but he has to do it.
"I think the other services can handle this without too much of a stretch on their part," said Mark Kruea, spokesperson for the city of Myrtle Beach. "Certainly, the beach is a fluid environment. I think they're more than accustom to knowing what is going on on the beach and in the water."
Kruea said if a thorough review reveals lifeguards for Myrtle Beach Lifeguards are properly certified then the company can still be reinstated.