Thousands of people visit our water-based facilities each year, and our staff is committed to the safety of our patrons through extensive education, training, and experience. The county parks began staffing lifeguarded areas in 1976 on the beaches of Kiawah Beachwalker Park. We currently employ about 150 lifeguards working at 3 water parks and about 50 lifeguards at 3 beach parks and the Folly Beach Fishing Pier.
Before each summer season begins, our agency acts as a training center for Starfish Aquatics Institute, instructing each of the lifeguards in the StarGuard curriculum. Full-time employees are Emergency Medical Responders and Starfish Aquatics StarGuard Instructors.
Ocean Rescue Lifeguards
The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) has been the certifying agency for the Ocean Access Parks Lifeguard Program since 1994. Each of the full-time safety and aquatics employees, lifeguard supervisors, and lifeguards is certified as Emergency Medical Responders. Our Ocean Rescue Lifeguards are responsible for approximately one and a half miles of beach along 3 barrier islands in the Charleston area - Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, and the Isle of Palms.
Focusing on Safety, Health, and Aquatic Rescue for Kids, Charleston County lifeguards provide education to students in Charleston area public schools through the existing Kaleidoscope Program.
Junior Lifeguard Program
The Junior Lifeguard Program (Ages 10-16) is designed to educate participants who are already comfortable with their swimming ability in the area of water safety.
Swim Safe Lowcountry
Swim Safe Lowcountry is Charleston County’s first stop for information on Lowcountry swim lessons and water safety. Use these invaluable resources to spread the word on the importance of swimming safely.