Patrolling the Coast: New training for Tybee lifeguards

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Right now, Tybee Island is a swim at your own risk beach but that won't last long because lifeguards are in training this week.

This year, the Starfish Aquatic Institute is putting together a more advanced beach open surf training curriculum. They chose Tybee to be the pilot for the new program.

"It's important for us to get back out of the beach because as you can see the crowds are growing, you don't like to have a beach full of swimmers and not have any lifeguards on the beach," said Capt. Mike Dick with Tybee Island Ocean Rescue.

The lifeguards on Tybee are in training this week with an international lifeguard training agency.

"We are working with them to make sure we can learn what they've been doing to make them so successful, so we can incorporate it into and adapt to other beaches worldwide," said Lake White, with Starfish Aquatic Institute.

They've been apart of StarGuard for at least 10 years, but this year instead of the basics they will be reaching a higher standard for the program.

"We're going to be using their training that we do here on Tybee to help educate beach lifeguards worldwide," said White.

They've been working on basic rescues.

"They know this beach better than anybody else. They know the rip currents. They know the issues," said White.

To the more intense, complicated team rescues in different environments using rescue boards and jet skis making their unit even stronger.

"It should help the city, the community of Tybee, definitely help the tourist of Tybee, and it should help us be able to grow as an organization," said Capt. Dick.

"We're going to be rolling out with the new textbooks, new training material, and then it will go out to all of our training centers worldwide," said White.

You will start seeing lifeguards out at the stands starting Monday and more later once the others are done with college for the semester.

For those interesting in applying, please click here.

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