Crowds enjoy the beach on Hilton Head Island ahead of Hurricane Isaias

Crowds enjoy the beach on Hilton Head Island ahead of Hurricane Isaias

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - It was your classic Hilton Head beach day at Coligny on Friday and people were all there enjoying the weather.

We spoke to visitors and lifeguards about plans and what they expect this weekend.

Hundreds of people made their way to the beach to enjoy the sunshine before any possible storms roll in and visitors say they wanted to enjoy the beach while they could.

Hilton Head has seen high occupancy rates consistently since Memorial Day weekend and now, many families are getting their trips in before school starts back up in a few weeks. Many people say the beach was less crowded than they expected and they were able to spread out.

They say while they know a storm is coming, they took advantage of the sunshine.

“We are really excited we’ve had great weather this week and our daughter loves to run and splash. And there’s less people. So it’s very open and it’s been fun. We will be leaving probably before the worst of it hits, so,” said Jessica Inscoe.

Shore Beach Services said any time there’s a storm in the distance you should be extra careful, this weekend is no different.

They are keeping a close eye on the storms progression and say they will activate their emergency plan once or if the storm gets closer to our shores. They say no matter what they will likely bring equipment closer in towards the dunes to avoid any losses due to a sudden surge.

They say until the town makes a decision they will not clean everything up, and people are permitted on the beach. But they say just because people are allowed on the beach doesn’t mean it will be perfect conditions.

Already Friday they had the yellow flag up. And any storms offshore could cause harsher conditions and the red flag could go up, meaning no one should get in the water.

“Hilton Head is so used to having a super calm surf, so for us to get five, six feet waves with the hurricane definitely is not out of the usual, but that’s definitely something we could have. Also we’re not used to having a lot of rip currents here but rip currents can definitely form,” said Shore Beach Services Operations Manager Mike Wagner.

Shore Beach Services says if you do get caught in a rip current created by the storm offshore make sure you are swimming to the side and not directly against it.

Hilton Head lifeguards say they have a full staff as they prepare for a busy weekend. Either with lots of visitors on the water, or with possible storms coming in. They say they will keep an eye out for conditions and warn people if the storms are getting closer to the shore that the ocean might not be as safe as normal.

But visitors on the beach say they were not worried about the storms. Instead they are worried on enjoying the beach and experience a socially distanced weekend mask free.

“Getting sun burnt! I absolutely love that because I do it all the time! No but, getting in the water. Playing with kids. And enjoying ourselves. Just go out and have fun. Getting back to the way it used to be. And quit worrying about everything that’s going on,” said Michael McMey.

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