FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - According to the United States Lifesaving Association, it's estimated 100 people die every year in a rip current. The storm off the Coast of the Atlantic is causing gusty winds and choppy waves on Folly Beach. The dangerous conditions didn't stop lifeguards from training Wednesday.
"These are the best types of conditions to train in," said Nikki Bowie, Safety Program Manager with Charleston County Parks.
"It's pretty choppy and messy out there so we want to get everyone's minds ready and we want them thinking clearly in a rescue situation," said Luke Meier, a Lifeguard with Charleston County Parks.
"We have two people go out and pretend to drown," said Meier.
The lifeguards had to make the rescue and perform CPR. Sometimes it's a rescue because someone just swam too far, but 80% of the time, it's because of rip currents.
"Rip currents are very dangerous and they do kill people," said Meier.
If you're caught in one....
"Do not freak out in a rip current. The fastest swimmers on earth can't beat it so just float it out," said Evan Howard, a Lifeguard with Charleston County Parks.
"What people don't understand are that rip currents don't pull you under, they pull you out so what we try to tell people is let the rip current pull you out and relax. I know it's hard to do," said Bowie.
Last year, lifeguards on Folly Beach made 50 rescues in the water. That's why they say training days are so important.
"It's not really your emergency, it is someone else's emergency. We know what we're doing. We train all of the time," said Howard.
Lifeguards are on the beach on weekends. Starting Memorial Day, they will be there full-time.