ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials are putting a new emphasis on water and beach safety after two scary situations on Lowcountry beaches this past weekend. One of the incidents involved a missing person; the other left two swimmers hurt.

Crews searched for a missing swimmer at Folly Beach on Sunday, and two swimmers at Isle of Palms were injured when they were caught in a rip current. The weekend incidents put first responders on alert. They say if you see something that looks like a rip current, it’s best to stay away.

“Bring somebody with you, don’t swim alone,” says Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett. “It’s just not safe, you don’t know what you’re going to encounter out there.”

Police say rip currents can be dangerous for swimmers of all ages and skillsets.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Josh Marthers says oftentimes, the currents can be easy to spot.

“Kind of cloudy, even foamy and you can see that channel going out,” says Marthers. “As the wave energy comes towards the beach, there’s a channel of water that rips back out toward the ocean.”

Storm Team 2 issues daily rip current alerts from low to moderate and high alert levels. They advise swimmers to avoid taking a dip on moderate and high alert days.

If you find yourself in a rip current, Chief Cornett says the best thing to do is to remain calm and call for help from those nearby on the beach. You should also swim parallel to the shore until you get out of the rip current.

“Don’t stress, calm down,” says Chief Cornett. “You need to swim along the shore, the same distance to the shore and then you’ll swim back up to the shore once you’re out of it.”

Rip currents can impact more than just those caught in their path. First responders ask those on the beach to stay alert and out of the way in the event a swimmer becomes stranded.

“The big thing too is when you’re on the beach, if you see someone that needs help, stay there and watch them,” says Chief Cornett. “That’s a big help for us when we respond so we know exactly where to go.”

Another important tip, Isle of Palms Fire Chief Craig Oliverius recommends having an up-to-date picture of your children and having a safety plan in place in the event one of your party members becomes caught in a rip current.

“Talk about those things with your family, with your children,” says Chief Oliverius. “Hey if this happens, if that happens, make sure that you know you have a plan in place.”

Officials say it’s best to have someone with you when getting in the ocean and avoid swimming in areas like Breach Inlet, know for strong currents.