Sixty-four lifeguards stormed the sands at Folly Beach County Park as part of the 13th annual Lifeguard Competition.

The event, organized by the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association, pits lifeguards against one another in a series of events designed to hone their life-saving skills.

Sixteen teams, the highest number in the event's history, competed in events such as a mile run on the beach and the two-person rescue that had lifeguards "saving" their partners in the ocean.

The competition consisted of two rounds with the first half of the day taking place at the R.L. Jones Center Pool in Mount Pleasant, moving to Folly Beach for the second half.

Seventeen teams started the competition, but one team dropped out after the pool-based portion.

Most of the events at the beach required teams to use skills on land and in the water, such as a 500-yard run-swim-run.

Zach Johnson, representing the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department, finally won the mile run after five years of participating in the competition.

He said he enjoys the event and looks forward to it every year.

"It's all about having fun, perfecting your skills, and meeting new people," he said.

Reach Melvin Backman at 937-5550 or