Rip current simulators teach local kids water safety

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Simulators along the Grand Strand are teaching kids how to survive rip currents.

The Myrtle Beach and Georgetown YMCA’s looked to purchase a simulator after a deadly 2016 along the coast. A donation and a grant helped purchase the simulators which go inside the pool.

“Essentially it simulates what a rip current is like,” said Association Aquatics Director at the YMCA, Michelle Krenzer. “As you swim up to it, the higher you have the level on it, the harder it is. If you let go it will push you all the way out just like a rip current will.”

Instructors explain what a rip current is and teach kids not to fight the water if you’re ever in one.

“Not to try to swim against it, but to relax,” explained Krenzer. “Let your body float out to where you relax and don’t feel it pushing you any more and then to swim parallel along the shore.”

In Georgetown, the YMCA has a partnership with the school district which creates a “Y Splash Program” which is a swim lesson program offered to all second graders in Georgetown County schools. It’s a program free of charge to families and brings the second graders to the YMCA once a week for four weeks.

Because May is National Water Safety Month, the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA in Myrtle Beach is holding a free “Water Safety Day” on Saturday, May 19 from 11:30-12:30pm. Children in K-6th grade are invited to learn more about rip current safety, boat safety and life jacket safety. You are asked to register online or call the YMCA to register your child because spots may fill up. For a link to the YMCA’s website click: here.

“There’s been a lot of talk in the news about rip currents in the last couple of days,” added Krenzer. “Just be aware of [rip currents] and know how to be safe and don’t fight it let it take you out swim parallel and come back.”

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