While there are plenty of beautiful spots across the Grand Strand where you can access the beach for free, the majority of them are unprotected. I’ve pledged my love for the Myrtle Beach State Park many, many times, but there’s one aspect of that I don’t believe has gotten much attention. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are lifeguards on duty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Today’s rash of reported shark bites got me thinking. Here are my top five reasons for loving beach spots with lifeguards.
1. They do their best to keep you from drowning. So you can roll your eyes if you want when they ask for you to come in a bit closer to shore, but they’d be the first one you’d holler for if you were in trouble. When I was a child, I was once swept up in strong undertow and a lifeguard pulled me out of the waves before the situation got worse. He was my hero. My cousin who grabbed me by the bathing suit bottom exposing my preschool-aged tush to the world – not so much. But thanks anyway.
2. They’re watching for rip currents, again, in an effort to keep you from dying. I’ve been on the beach where lifeguards got everyone out of the water due to increased danger.
3. They’re looking for schools of small fish along the shore line, which are notorious for attracting sharks. If they feel a danger is imminent, they clear the water.
4. They have jellyfish spray at their stand, as well as basic first-aid supplies, should you need them.
5. They have immediate access to communication tools and training, should there be an emergency like a lost child, medical issue, or other type of critical situation.
I’m most familiar with Lack’s lifeguard service and want to give a shout-out to them. Every time I’m around them, it’s clear to me how seriously they take their jobs and I appreciate that.
I recently wrote a story about a Junior Lifeguard program in North Myrtle Beach where the city is training local youth with the hopes of hiring them when they’re older to protect the beaches. I love it!
Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.