Myrtle Beach ocean rescue works to create lost children program, among other changes

Grand Strand

Firefighters with the Myrtle Beach ocean rescue team say they are changing a few things up this summer.

The team is preparing for millions of travelers to make their way to Myrtle Beach during the warmer months. 

On Friday, a teenager drowned in a rip current Emerald Isle, North Carolina. Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach also had rip current warnings with red flags along the beach.

“Sometimes I think it’s about education which we are trying to get out there more, to let people know what these flags mean, and to obey the warnings,” said Battalion Chief, Brian Mitchell.

Another change in the works is a lost children program, to better help lifeguards and firefighters work together to unite parents with their children.

“The children, even adults get lost on the beach and we are trying to do a better job at identifying the avenues to make sure everyone has a plan, so if you do get lost you have a meeting spot or you find a lifeguard stand,” said Mitchell.

Patrols will start staying out later this year, some until 8 p.m. and will all ride in Colorado vehicles. 

“We had some UTV’s, we were using some side by sides but this year we decided it was a little bit better to be in a Colorado,” said Mitchell.

Right now there are 40 firefighters on the ocean crew, a numer that has grown to match with an increase of beach visitors. 

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