Coast Guard rescues woman caught in rip current off South Carolina coast

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – A Coast Guard search and rescue team from Air Station Savannah, Ga., rescued a woman Thursday after she was caught in rip current off the coast of Hilton Head.

Rescued was Ann Baxter, 51, of Hilton Head.

Baxter was swimming when rough surf and currents carried her more than a mile off-shore.

At approximately 10:40 a.m. the Beaufort County Sheriff’s office notified Coast Guard watchstanders of a possible person in the water.

An HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew deployed to search for the person and located Baxter at approximately 12 p.m. Baxter was hoisted from the water via rescue basket and transported her to Hilton Head International Airport where emergency medical personnel were awaiting her arrival. She was reported to be in stable condition.

The Coast Guard would like to remind the public about the dangers of rip currents. Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore and can happen at any beach.

If caught in a rip current:

  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly
  • Never fight against the current
  • Swim out of the current parallel to the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle away from the current towards shore
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arms and yelling for help

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