Beaufort News

Lifeguards caution all but strongest swimmers out of the water

A surfer rides down the face of a large wave at Hunting Island Friday afternoon.  Hurricane Irene provided plenty of big waves and several heavy downpours throughout the day as it passed by the coast of South Carolina.
A surfer rides down the face of a large wave at Hunting Island Friday afternoon. Hurricane Irene provided plenty of big waves and several heavy downpours throughout the day as it passed by the coast of South Carolina. Jonathan Dyer, The Beaufort Gazette

Shore Beach Services lifeguard Jimmy Donahue keeps an eye out for swimmers in trouble at Hilton Head's Coligny Beach on Friday morning as Hurricane Irene passed. Island lifeguards used messages and yellow caution flags to warn swimmers of high surf and strong currents caused by the Category 2 storm. The National Weather Service in Charleston and the Town of Hilton Head Island both issued high-surf warnings, as waves of six to nine feet broke along the beach. The advisory remained in effect until 6 a.m. today.

High tides, rain and wind caused some coastal flooding in low-lying areas. Moderate beach erosion was possible as the waves and tide continued to build Friday night into the early morning, the weather service said.

Occupancy at some resorts and hotels was down slightly when compared to this time last year, according to the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.

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