Hunting Island officials consider lifeguards after weekend drowning

HUNTING ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Park officials on Hunting Island may consider bringing back lifeguards after a drowning on Labor Day weekend, the second death on the island within the past month.

Rescue crews spent hours Saturday searching for 31-year-old Joseph Spratt, one of five distressed swimmers that day.

Spratt's body wasn't discovered until Monday, about a tenth of a mile from where he was last seen. Rescuers say rip currents and strong winds made swimming rough that day.

While park officials contemplate bringing in lifeguards, they say right now they are also enlisting the support of local emergency help watch out for swimmers in danger...

"This allows us to cover the entire four miles of the beach here on the island," said Jeff Atkins, Hunting Island park manager. "In the past with lifeguards you had one particular area you had about 100 yards that was solely protected."

Some residents say lifeguards would help them feel more safe in the water. Others say people need to just follow the signs posted along the beach and "swim at your own risk."

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