Nearly 14 Million tourists flock to Myrtle Beach from all over the United States and even Canada to enjoy the Grand Strand's 60 miles of pristine ocean pleasure. Unfortunately, every year, several of those tourists don't make it home, or even out of the water, alive
Riptides kill more people in the US every year than shark attacks have in decades.
So while my children rode their boogie boards and conquered the most extreme and radical waves they could hop, it wasn't until I had a long talk and demonstration with them about the dangers of riptides and what they should do in case they started getting carried out to sea.
And although my young ones spent their 4 days on the Atlantic riptide free, later in the week, once they were safely back inland with their mother(my ex), 2 other families ended up with horrific vacations.
On Saturday the 23rd of July 2 people were swept to their deaths by rip currents just a few blocks down from where my kids had been enjoying their vacation just 5 days earlier.
An 11 year old just like mine, struggled in the churning and roughened Atlantic surf that was in the grips of the little Tropical Storm Franklin. The boy's father and sister dove in to help the boy but ended up going to the hospital themselves almost drowning.
The Coast Guard spent hours in the air searching for the young victim's body which washed up on Monday, two days after he drowned.
The other drowning occurred when a 31 year old man tried to save his son from a riptide. These two drownings make the 5th and 6th drowings this year at Myrtle Beach.
All of these riptide deaths could be prevented by following this simple protocol. Ride the riptide out, DO NOT try to swim against the riptide to shore. Call for help but don't panic.
If you can swim well, do it parallel to the shore to escape the ripcurrent, but don't tire yourself out. Float along with the tide and wait for help if you can't swim out.
Basically, don't panic and make your trip to the beach memorable not horrible. My sympathies to the families of all the riptide victims.