Monday, Horry County Police and Surfside Beach Police trained in rough ocean conditions on how to save swimmers in distress.
So far this summer, eight people have drowned along the Grand Strand.
Lifeguards stay busy watching thousands of swimmers along the beaches each day.
Martina Zirosova has worked with Lack’s Life Guard Services in Myrtle Beach for five years.
During that time, one instance stands out in her mind.
“I just swam as fast as I could. You just don’t think about anything; you just think you need to be faster, faster to save their lives. They’re kids”
Her first summer in America from the Czech Republic, as well as her first summer ever lifeguarding, Zirosova saved two kids stuck in a rip current.
That was her first and last save.
She says the reason is because she was extra cautious after that, but no matter how careful you are anything can happen in the ocean.
That is why Horry County Police continue to train in real life water rescue situations.s
“They (tourists) think it’s safe, like the pool or the pond in their backyard, and it’s not,” said Corporal Justin Wyatt.
Corporal Wyatt works with the Horry County Police Department.
He says even if you are a good swimmer, the ocean conditions are always changing.
Wyatt says most of the calls he answers comes after lifeguards have gone home for the day, or when people swim at unguarded beaches; which can be fixed easily.
‘Whenever possible swim near a lifeguard, swim near a friend,” said Wyatt.
She says knowing your limitations and the beach conditions can save your life.
She says rip currents are one of the biggest issues along Grand Strand waters.
If you are caught rip current, swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip.