Lifeguards Urge Beach Safety - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/20/04

Lifeguards Urge Beach Safety

Tybee Island was packed with beach goers this weekend trying to catch some rays and some waves; however, the drowning last Thursday of a man trying to save a six year old still lingers on people's minds.

Art Gelow has been coming to Tybee Island for years. He says you just never know when the calm waters can turn deadly. "Every circumstance is different," explained Gelow. "You have to respect the ocean."

Audrey Myers brings her five children to the beach. Her method to try to keep them safe is simple. "Keep an eye on them, make sure they don't get too far out on to the water," said Myers.

Despite these safety precautions, professionals say there is only one sure way you won't get into trouble at the beach. Lifeguard Brian Stafford says with rip currents and undertows anything is possible, so if you ever find yourself caught in a rip tide, stay calm. "Be calm and ride it out," said Stafford. "Swim parallel to the shore and swim back."

With that advice in mind, Art Gelow says if he could save someone who was in trouble in the water, he would. "I feel terrible for the gentleman that drowned but I would do the same thing. I would try to save a young person if I thought it would work," said Gelow.

Lifeguards on Tybee will also step up patrols and personnel on the beach this summer.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

 

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