Beach Safety for Your Myrtle Beach Vacation

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Swimming at the beach is, simply put, one of the most fun ways to pass the day! Wave hopping, body surfing, or going the distance, it’s all a great way to cool off once summer heats up the Grand Strand.

And while the waves in Myrtle Beach are often big enough to be fun without being rough and scary, beach safety is always a concern if you plan to swim in the ocean.

The Myrtle Beach area has a Swim Safe program that serves to educate visitors and locals about being safe in the water. The program focuses on the following safety tips:

1. Be aware of riptides
2. Swim in areas with a lifeguard
3. Swim with a buddy
4. Swim sober
5. Don’t fight the current (signal for help!)
6. Don’t float where you can’t swim
7. Watch small children closely
8. Don’t dive into the surf (protect your neck!)
9. Leash your boogie board or surfboard
10. Ask a lifeguard about ocean water conditions
11. Look for, read, and obey all beach safety flags (yellow, lifeguard on duty; blue, aquatic danger; red, no swimming allowed)

More on riptides: A riptide, also known as a rip current, is a narrow band of water that moves quickly, pulling objects and people out to sea. They’re more common on windy days, so if you see streaks of muddy/sandy water and ocean debris moving out to sea, stay away. If you find yourself caught in a riptide, don’t struggle against the current. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you’re out of the riptide—it’s usually not very wide, less than 100 feet across. If you can’t swim out, float on your back until you’re beyond the pull of the current. Once the riptide subsides, you can the swim parallel to shore to be sure you’re away from the riptide, then swim back to shore.

On drowning: There is a misconception many people have about drowning: the idea that people who are drowning wave their arms and yell for help. They may behave that way if they’re in distress, but once drowning begins, the body’s reaction is much different and harder to spot. The main thing to keep in mind is that drowning people cannot get enough air to call for help. If you’re near someone who’s swimming, especially kids, and they get quiet, ask if they’re OK. If they don’t answer, get to them quickly.

Myrtle Beach has a great safety record when it comes to our beaches, but it’s still important to make sure you’re educated on what to do when you’re out enjoying the sun and surf.