Vacationers bummed as tropical depression threatens the Lowcountry

Vacationers bummed as tropical depression threatens the Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As the Lowcountry prepares for impacts from a tropical depression, vacationers are bummed.

"It was kind of a surprise because I usually enjoy the beach this time of the year" Colorado resident Cheryl Rossoll said.

Rossoll is in Charleston spending time with family and admits the weather is frustrating.

"The water was rough," Rossoll said. "Yesterday we were on Kiawah Island and the water was rough, you could feel the rip tide."

The conditions have Rossoll rethinking her plans during her her time in Charleston.

Locals say, through experience, the rough water is not something to fight.

"My uncle threw me over the dock on the Bohicket, probably when I was about 5 and said, 'swim,'" Robert Grimball said. "Best thing I can say with a rip current, go with it until you get yourself released of it. Breathe, float."

When conditions are this rough, emergency crews send an even stronger message.

"Number one, stay out of the water," Isle of Palms fire chief Ann Graham said. "Number two, never swim alone. Know what your surrounding risks are."

Because Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission lifeguards are no longer patrolling the beach during the week, IOP fire department responds to many rescue calls.

They often send out their jet skis.

"When someone might be caught in a rip current," Chief Graham said. "We're called when there might be a kite board that someone on shore thinks they're in distress."

Chief Graham has been with the fire department for more 20 years and has responded to hundreds of distressed swimmers in rip currents.

She says swimmers often fight the current, the opposite of what they should be doing.

"They should just try to relax and go with the flow," Chief Graham said. "It's harder than it sounds. But, if they can just go with the flow and get out of it. Then, they could just swim parallel to the shore."

Along several Lowcountry beaches signs can be seen, warning of the rip currents.

Others have advice heading into the holiday weekend.

"Have a backup plan, just in case," Rossoll said. "Hopefully this will blow over in a couple of days"

"If it's like this really stay in doors, and find a shelter and do you an American hotdog and hamburgers," Grimball said.

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