Beaufort County pushes for lifeguards on Hunting Island - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Beaufort County pushes for lifeguards on Hunting Island

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An attempt to restore lifeguard service on Hunting Island is set to be heard before state legislators next month.

The presentation comes on the heels of several drowning in the state park in the last four years. Two drownings occurred in July 2013, when 16 year old Nathan Mok, and his father 38 year Tiem Mok were carried away by a current.

"You can't really tell when there's a rip current," says beach-goer Joe Salerno.

He and his wife vacation in Hunting Island. They says the rip tide is all the more reason for lifeguards posted as extra surveillance.

"One of the kids read 'No lifeguard on duty," when we road up," Erika Salerno said. "I mean as tourists ourselves, you look for safety whenever you're traveling, and it would definitely be comforting if they were out here."

Because the park has no had lifeguards since 1998, some Beaufort County residents plan to change that, by presenting the cause for lifeguards in the statehouse.

A company called Shore Beach Services provides lifeguards on Hilton Head Island. Director Ralph Wagner says Attorney Russell Patterson consulted his expertise on ocean life guarding, as Patterson built his argument.

Wagner estimated it would cost about $40,000 in startup costs and about $95,000 a year to provide service at several locations on the island between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

He says he would support lifeguards coming to Hunting Island Beach. While they could not necessarily guarantee a stop to the drownings, they would certainly be less likely, according to Wagner.



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