Man who died trying to save teen hailed as a hero

A Longs man who drowned trying to save another person's life is being called a hero.

Scott Woods, 34, died Monday while trying to pull a teenager out of the ocean at 48th Ave. North in Myrtle Beach. The teenager, Joshua Walley of Eutaville, NC, also died.

Warren Sessions, who says he knew Woods, commented on "That was the kind of person he was. Always helping people."

Patricia Rowell, who said her son was a close friend of Woods, added: "Scott always had a kind heart and was always willing to help out. We have lost a good man."

One Myrtle Beach lifeguard manager says he would never tell a good Samaritan to not try to save someone who appears to be in trouble in the water.

"There's been a lot of cases where non-lifeguards have went out and helped people and everything worked out good. It's just some circumstances that sometimes it might add to the problem instead of help the problem," said Wes Cox of Lack's Beach Service.

Cox suggests that if you see someone struggling in the ocean, the first thing you should do is inform the nearest lifeguard, since they're the ones properly trained in water rescue.

Cox says his standard advice to people is to not swim in an area that doesn't have lifeguards, don't swim alone and don't swim under the influence.

But Cox adds things can go wrong even in what appears to be the best conditions and when swimmers are following all the rules.

"You can take a pool or a river and whatever dangers you have in a controlled water environment and magnitude that many times whenever you go out in the ocean."

Cox says he'd like to see everybody who goes into the ocean be required to take some kind of water safety class, so they can become familiar with the dangers and the hazards out there, but he says he knows that would only happen in a perfect world.