Sullivans Island responds to string of rescues, tragedies

Three more people were rescued off a Charleston beach over the weekend. Around six in the evening on Sunday, three teenagers were stranded on a sand bar off of Sullivans Island. Sullivans Island Fire and Rescue Department Captain John Weston says the ocean is always dangerous and he urges swimmers to use extra precaution in certain areas.
“It can be more dangerous usually around sand bars and there’s holes and drop-offs, and those are constant, they’re very dynamic, they’re changing all the time. And, last week the wind was a little bit rough and the currents were probablly a little bit stronger than normal, and that all probably contributed to having so many calls,” says Weston.
Sunday’s rescue near Station 17 followed a string of rescues last week in the same area off Sullivans Island. A woman was reported missing after swimming with her friend on Wednesday, and a seperate dead body was washed up on shore on Thursday. Then, three people were rescued on Friday after nearly drowning. Weston says incidents like these should make people more aware, so he offers some tips.
“If you get caught in a rip current, as we all know, you’re supposed to not fight the current, you try to go with the current. That might necessitate swimming parrellel, maybe going out even further, but don’t fight the current, don’t go in the water too deep. But, if it looks rough out there, and there’s currents out there, don’t go in the water,” says Weston.
Weston says the public is already warned when they arrive to the beach.
“There is signs on every beach path that warn of dangerous currents, specifically around sand bars, or rock jetties, or rock groins, and warnings of drop-offs, but that’s it though, that’s how we warn the pubic is with signs,” says Weston.
Weston says Sullivans Island hasn’t seen a rise in drownings, and he hasn’t noticed a trend.
Rescue crews are still searching for the body of the woman reported missing last week.

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