Dozens of surfers flocked to the Washout on Folly Beach Sunday hoping to catch a wave despite the high risk of rip currents in effect from Hurricane Irma.
"They will suck you down," said Chance Turko, a local who has been surfing his entire life. "You gotta be careful."
He put his board in right near Folly Pier and within minutes the current had dragged him several hundred yards down the beach.
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"I couldn't even get out because it's really rough and not even worth going out honestly," he said.
Turko said he wished he hadn't gone in, and onlookers agreed.
"I couldn't find them," said Regina Smith, who watched from shore. "I mean I'm a mother. I'm not their mother, but I was worried about them right away. Then we noticed them so far down the beach."
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Turko said he was just hoping for a wave like so many others who surf the pre-storm swells, but he said the chance of getting caught in a rip current isn't worth the risk.
"If you think you're out of it and try to come back up, it'll suck you back down and you have no breath or oxygen to come back up," he explained. "It's like a washing machine. It keeps going and going and going."
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for all coastal waters.