SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to summer and many are taking to the beaches of the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry to find ways to cool off.
Lifeguards are busy on Monday as they work to make sure that everyone getting in the water is staying safe as the WTOC viewing area experiences record heat. They say that they’ve already had to perform water rescues and continue to advise people to stay off of the sand bar. Officials with Chatham County Emergency Services strongly encourage beachgoers to drink plenty of water and to remember that alcohol consumption will only dehydrate you. They also encourage the use of sun screen, as well as paying attention to any children at the beach.
“The problem is we don’t get to decide when people have emergencies, so there’s a very good chance that our staff will be working on the roadway in the heat and we have to hydrate as we can and kind of make the best of it,” said District Chief Mary Meeks with CES.
Meeks says they place a priority on keeping their first responders safe and hydrated so they can continue to keep the island safe, too.
"We have additional staff on Tybee. As of right now, we have two ambulances out there, just because of the increased crowds and potential from people being sick with heat injuries.
One swimmer had an excellent decision for staying cool during the holiday.
“Put a t-shirt in a cooler of ice water," said Avon Tate. "When you start to sweat and it starts to turn into salt on your skin, put that cold shirt on.”
Make sure to wear loose cloothing, and to stay cool!
Lowcountry residents also took to the beaches of Hilton Head and Hunting Island to take a dip in the water. Many remember the damage that the state park took from the recent hurricanes that have passed through the area in the past three years.
One veteran says the holiday has come a long way with honoring those who served and fought for this country.
“A lot of times you work the whole weekend," said Bill Schuck, who chose to cool down at the state park on Monday. "I’ve done several parades as a veteran out of state, I’m from up north New York, they’ve come a long way celebrating Memorial Day. Years ago it didn’t get a lot of recognition but now it does.”