Emergency crews rescued a kiteboarder and a paddleboarder who got into trouble this afternoon about a quarter-mile off Sullivan’s Island as a subtropical storm churns off the coast.
Sullivan’s Island Fire and Rescue crews raced out and plucked the two men from the water with no injuries. The incidents occurred separately this afternoon. Another kiteboarder who was thought to be in trouble turned up fine on the beach a short time later, fire officials said.
Emergency workers are keeping a close eye on conditions as the weather mass expected to become Tropical Storm Beryl develops.
Thousands of people are packing the beaches today for the start of the Memorial Day weekend. The weather has been sunny and pleasant but things could get wet and nasty later on.
The latest update from the National Hurricane Center calls for the storm to continue moving toward the southeast coast, making landfall by late Sunday.
Hurricane hunters are checking out the storm, and maximum sustained winds are currently about 45 mph, with higher gusts.
A little strengthening is possible over the day or so, with tropical storm force winds extending outward some 115 miles.
Earlier today, the Coast Guard warned that tropical storm conditions may hinder its ability to rescue stranded boaters and urged boaters and swimmers in the southeast to stay out of the water this holiday weekend.
“With Tropical Storm Beryl approaching, the Coast Guard is strongly urging boaters and swimmers to stay off and stay out of ocean waters along Georgia and South Carolina coastlines until the storm has passed and sea conditions return to normal,” the Coast Guard said in a news release issued this afternoon.
Tropical storm warnings were in effect today from northern Florida to Edisto Beach in South Carolina. The Charleston area has been put under a tropical storm watch, and a small craft advisory is in effect through Sunday afternoon.
Tropical storm conditions -- meaning maximum sustained winds of 45 mph -- could reach the South Carolina coast as early as tonight. Some coastal flooding is forecast, as the rain could cause high tides. As of 5 p.m., Beryl was centered about 220 miles east-southeast of Charleston. It was moving southwest at about 6 mph.
The Coast Guard also suggested boaters would do well to secure their vessels before the storm arrives. Adding additional mooring lines is highly recommended. Boaters should also ensure that any gear above deck is properly stowed and secured.
Loose gear or an unsecured boat could appear as a debris field and could trigger an unnecessary search by the Coast Guard, according to the news release.
Today’s forecast for Charleston from the National Weather Service is for sunshine early, then becoming partly cloudy, with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Highs should be in the upper 80s, north winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. The chance of rain today is 20 percent. Tonight should be mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after midnight. Lows in the lower 70s. It will be breezy, with northeast winds 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 30 mph. The chance of rain is 40 percent. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Breezy. East winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent. Sunday night should be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Breezy with lows around 70. East winds 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent. The current Memorial Day forecast calls for a mostly cloudy day, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Check back with postandcourier.com for updates.