MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - During a Tuesday afternoon meeting, the beach advisory committee met at Myrtle Beach City Hall to discuss the summer, which has seen a record number of rescues.
"I guarantee we've had more rescues on record than ever before," a lifeguard service member said.
As beach services gave their updates to the committee, the group of beach patrol, police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, and city officials went over a grim list, the number of drownings this summer.
While the six drownings are certainly unfortunate, the group compared the numbers with previous years and found the majority of the drownings happened during hours when a lifeguard wouldn't be on the beach.
However, lifeguards want beach-goers to know they are saving everyone they can.
"I think a lot of times, there's an immediate reaction, or blame wants to get pointed somewhere that it doesn't necessarily need to. In my opinion, a lot of these guys need medals for the amount of rescues they've went on. There's a lot of people that walked out of the ocean that didn't even know they were in harm's way. There are a lot of people walking around right now that wouldn't be alive if it weren't for a lifeguard," said Nick Jackson, of John's Beach Service.
The group talked about the unforgiving conditions of the ocean this year, from rip currents and long currents, to a new sand bar formation and winds, and agreed while they can do everything in their power and plan to bring more eyes to the beach, the public needs to be educated.
"There's going to be drownings. That's going to happen. You can't save the world," Jackson said. "I think the main thing is prevention, educating people. Because, unfortunately, we are in the area where a good chunk of the swimmers here in the ocean can't swim."
Sgt. Philip Cain with the Myrtle Beach Police Beach Patrol said they want to get some public service announcements shown on a weekly basis so that visitors can see them while on vacation.
These PSAs will be general safety tips and target all of the city facilities, including the Myrtle Beach Sports Complex. In addition, brochures will be available for visitors.