Training rescues help lifeguards prepare for busy Memorial Day weekend

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WITN) - The United States Lifesaving Association named the week prior to Memorial Day National Beach Safety Week.

Each year as summer begins, the association sponsors National Beach Safety Week in an effort to remind beachgoers to use caution in the aquatic environment.

As North Carolinians begin to soak up sun, lifeguards begin extra practices on life-saving tactics ahead Memorial Day weekend.

“Everyday we train. We do [Physical Training]. Especially on holiday weekends when we have an increase of visitors we increase that intensity of water rescue training and first aid CPR. One of the biggest things we tell bystanders or anybody that’s coming to the beach is to know your surroundings,” said Emerald Isle Ocean Rescue’s Lindsay Lewis.

Lifeguards stress the importance of paying attention to safety flags for water conditions.

Some beachgoers say they are instilling water safety into their children at a young age.

“For a little guy my son’s size, rip currents are pretty gnarly. And that in itself, as long as you swim in a diagonal towards the beach; just don’t try to go against it. You’ll never beat that current,” said beachgoer and naval corpsman Shelby Seisman when asked what lessons she teaches her two-year-old son.

The Town of Emerald Isle says returning guards are required to complete 24-30 hours of training before returning to the lifeguard stands for the season.

New guards must complete 60-70 depending on the class size.

Emerald Isle Ocean Rescue says lifeguards are trained to rescue people from rip currents, people who have heart attacks or seizures in the water, and people who may suffer spinal injuries from violent shore breaking waves.

The Town of Emerald Isle also has QR code stickers with a link to more safety tips on the town of Emerald Isle’s website are attached to drink cups and other items at several local businesses on the island.

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