By Sarah Reynolds for Island Eye News
Practice makes perfect, and Charleston County Parks strive for perfection, particularly when it comes to aquatic safety.
On June 27, lifeguards from Charleston County competed in the 14th Annual South Carolina Recreation and Park Association Lifeguard Competition, a challenge designed to showcase and sharpen lifesaving skills.
Comprised of 6 teams from CCPRC and 2 teams from the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department, the lifeguard competition kicked off with beach events at Isle of Palms County Park then moved to R.L. Jones Center in Mount Pleasant for pool events in the afternoon.
Organized by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission and the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department, this annual event brings together beach, pool, and waterpark lifeguards in a healthy yet competitive environment, allowing them to demonstrate their skills to the community without any threat of danger. The competition is held on behalf of the SCRPA Aquatics Branch to motivate guards to improve their aquatic safety skills through vigorous training and practice.
Crowds gathered around competitors at Isle of Palms County Park to watch as they raced to the finish line in the Run-Swim-Run event, competed for the fastest time in the one-mile race, dove for beach flags in the sand, and simulated rescues in the Active Victim Ocean Rescue event. Once the beach events concluded, the competitors moved to the R.L. Jones Center to begin the pool portion of the competition. Lifeguards participated in speed races and lifesaving technique events, including Spinal Injury Management, Rescue Tube Relay, 50-Yard Sprint and Submerged Deep Water Rescue.
Continuing their winning tradition, CCPRC took home first, second, and third place at the SCRPA Lifeguard Competition. The teams were made up of lifeguards from Isle of Palms County Park, Folly Beach County Park, Splash Island and Whirlin’ Waters.