Tybee lifeguards stress swim safety with bad riptides - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tybee lifeguards stress swim safety with bad riptides

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With the official start of summer only two days away, a lot of families are heading to the beach but swimming in the ocean may not be the best idea.

Tybee Island Ocean Rescue lifeguards were busy Monday, making five rescues in bad rip tides. Yellow flags will likely be flying all week. It doesn't mean don't swim. Just be careful and listen to lifeguards.

School's out for summer. One look at the beach will tell you that. Hundreds of families spent their Monday on the beaches of Tybee Island.

"They're the first waves that I've seen. I'm from Clinton, Iowa,” said Tony Handy.

Handy's family is in town for the week. He's already got ground rules to make sure his kids stay safe in the ocean.

"Make sure I keep an eye on them. Come in and take breaks every now and then,” said Handy.

Larger-than-normal waves crashed on the shoreline Monday, prompting many families to make plans like that. Lifeguards were also all over the beach.

"They've done a great job. They've blown the whistle on us twice. We've already seen them running several times up and down the beach so I think they're doing a great job,” said Joanna Santiesteban.

"The tide's coming in quick. The surf is pretty high and the wind is pretty bad. It's catching up on people,” said lifeguard Robert Caperton.

Lifeguards said the riptide is especially bad in the Back River area. They made at least two rescues Monday for swimmers who found that out the hard way.

"Us yelling at them and bringing them back in isn't just to take away their fun, it's to stop them from getting in a bad situation,” said Caperton.

Caperton said you should stick close to shore when conditions are like this and swim near a lifeguard stand. Also, stay away from jetties and the pier. If you have any questions just ask.

“Ask us, ask PD, we also have beach ambassadors on the beach so a lot of people you can come and ask questions to if you have stuff like that,” said Caperton.

As for those waves, you can expect to see them for the rest of the week.

Always look at those flags before you hit the beach. Green means good to go. Yellow means caution. Red means swim at your own risk and double red means don't swim at all.

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