By Sarah Reynolds for Island Eye News
Lifeguards from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission recently competed in the United States Lifesaving Association National Lifeguard Championships and made their mark as one of the top lifeguard teams in the country. The event took place in Daytona Beach Aug. 6-8.
Overall, CCPRC’s team placed 11th in the country, out of 42 teams in their division, which consisted of the largest beaches in the country (based on number of staff members).
CCPRC’s team consisted of 11 members, including four women – Hannah Craig, Taylor Stubbs, Mary Stewart Wilson and Peyton Wilson; and seven men – Bo Blythe, Stephen Fernandez, Stephen Heyward, Max Hutton, Clark Noble, John Radel and Anthony Tipton. The women competitors took home six individual top 20 awards, with two in the top 10, as well as five top 20 team awards, with one in the top 10. The men took home two top 20 team awards, and seven top 10 individual age group awards.
CCPRC team member Hannah Craig also competed individually in two events in the Junior division (under 19) of the national competition and placed in the top three in both events, the Run-Swim-Run (2nd place) and the Surf Swim race (3rd place).
Next year, CCPRC will host the regional competition for USLA lifeguards, the South Atlantic Lifesaving Association Championships, on Folly Beach for the first time. CCPRC has been staffing lifeguarded areas since 1976, when they began lifeguarding the beach at Kiawah Beachwalker Park. Today, CCPRC employs about 150 lifeguards at three water parks, and about 50 lifeguards at three beach parks (Beachwalker, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach County Parks) and the Folly Beach Fishing Pier. For details on CCPRC lifeguards and their training, visit www.ccprc.com/1247/Lifeguards-Safety.
The United States Lifesaving Association is America’s nonprofit, professional association of beach lifeguards and open water rescuers. The USLA works to reduce the incidence of death and injury in the aquatic environment through public education, national lifeguard standards, training programs, promotion of high levels of lifeguard readiness, and other means. For more information or for full results from the National Lifeguard Championship, visit usla.org.