MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Wednesday News 13 showed a video of a lifeguard apparently sleeping in his chair while on duty in Myrtle Beach.
Thursday, managers of Lack’s Beach Service said a health evaluation showed the lifeguard was suffering from heat exhaustion and they believed he passed out while on the beach.
Martina Jedlicka was the manager in charge of training the lifeguard in the video and says now she has to figure out what happened.
“I took Thomas this morning to health clinic to have check him out, to see if he’s been sick They also gave him a random drug test. Thomas was diagnosed with a heat exhaustion,” said Jedlicka.
With temperatures rising, News13 asked her what the company is doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“We are trying to help them out providing electrolyte pills. We have water 24/7 with the ice. So, cool water, electrolyte drinks, electrolyte pills, every life guard is taking a break in the morning and afternoon for 15 minutes, and then they have a lunch break so we highly suggest to go inside air conditioned areas and kind of cool off,” said Jedlicka.
She says the company also hired an additional supervisor and medic to look out for the lifeguards.
Jedlicka says right now the lifeguard in the video is taking some time off.
“When he comes back, we are definitely going to go over, and you can be sure we are going to go over the whole procedure. We are going to go over the whole accident, and it’s not going to happen again. I mean if he’s going to be back on the beach, he will be re-trained,” said Jedlicka.
Lack’s Beach Service says they already supply the City of Myrtle Beach with ten more lifeguards than the city requires.
Managers say the lifeguard in the video never told them at the time he was feeling sick, but they now want to remind people to call for help if they believe a lifeguard should be taken off duty.
The company claims they didn’t know about this incident until they saw it on Facebook.