Erin Schwartz had just warned her children there would be no more joking about sharks as they swam in the ocean shallows.
Then a pig paddled their way.
The Seattle family's 13-day getaway on Sullivan's Island ended Friday with a swine in the surf.
"We were laughing on the beach," she said.
Schwartz, her husband Eric Ozretich and their kids, Ruby, 8, and Luca, 5, were searching for sand dollars when they spied something about 15 yards from the shore.
"We tried to figure out what it was," she said.
At first, they thought maybe a dog was in the waves. But the snout and tail told a different story.
"I think it's a pig," Eric said.
He helped the pig to shore.
"It seemed very exhausted and disoriented. He was pretty nice unless someone approached closely," she said.
Sullivan's Island Animal Control was summoned, and the squealing pig was captured.
Back home, Erin Schwartz is vice president of strategic partnerships and global advocacy for The Max Foundation. Eric Ozretich is a registered nurse who works at the Northwest Kidney Center.
"Saving people usually, instead of pigs," she said of her husband.
Visiting the island was already a memorable experience for the couple. They exchanged wedding vows nine years ago in the backyard of the same house where they were staying.
Now, they can look back on the time they spied a pig in the surf.
"It's the first time we've ever seen something that crazy. For me it's one of the funniest things," she said.
Kay Hyman, spokeswoman for the Charleston Animal Society, said the pig may have fallen overboard.
"They're very good swimmers," she said.
The pig was about two-feet-tall and weighed 25 pounds, said Sullivan's Town Manager Andy Benke.
"After discussing the matter with the state Department of Natural Resources, the animal was relocated accordingly," Benke said in an email.
The pig was likely caught in the current in the upper reaches of the Wando and/or Cooper rivers and came ashore at the first available location, he said.
"This often occurs with wild animals but is more common with deer and alligators," Benke said.
Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711