Busy Weekend on Tybee Island - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05-26-06

Busy Weekend on Tybee Island

If you didn't make it out to Tybee Island Saturday, you were one of the few. Tybee Island's Mayor Jason Buelterman says it's one of the busiest weekends he has seen in years.

With residents and visitors flocking to the beach for the holiday weekend, Tybee police and lifeguards had their hands full making sure everyone stayed safe. One of the biggest problems they face is children getting separated from their parents. Corporal Jason Heckman says, "in a crowd this large it's real simple for children to get misplaced from parents. It only takes less than twenty minutes for them to get from one side of the other.

Heckman says he expects anywhere from fifty to one hundred children get separated from their parents and explains how it's so easy; "theres a lot of people out here and everyone looks the same. Kids don't pay attention when they're in the water, they look up and all of a sudden they are lost."

And while it's easy for a child to drift down a few feet from where he or she started, it's just as easy from a swimmer to get too far out from the shore. Mayor Buelterman says rip currents are far more dangerous than sharks and swimmers need to be cautious when they're out in the water.

Even with a packed beach, police say there have been very little problems. They want people to enjoy their holiday weekend, but they say the best way to do that is to follow the rules so their fun memorial day will also be a safe one.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com

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