Secret Service agents on the Kitty Hawk beach running to rescue a swimmer. Photo, Virgininan Pilot
Secret Service on the Outer Banks?
Yes, as it turns out. In fact, according to a story in the Virginian Pilot, they’ve been coming for a while…clear back to 2003 as it turns out.
Outer Banks beaches, it appears, are the ideal setting to train the 75 agents who specialize in water rescue. According to the article written by Jeff Hampton, it's a pretty grueling process to get to the ocean rescue part of the training. There’s an underwater test that must be passed and a timed distance that must be met.
This year there were ten Secret Service students on the beach in Kitty Hawk, learning about ocean rescue from Captain Cole Yeatts, the Ocean Rescue Supervisor for Kitty Hawk.
Yeatts has been part of the ocean rescue team in the town for over 20 years and he has a well-deserved reputation for his training regimen.
There were nine men and one woman working on ocean rescue this past week. Instruction is as realistic as it can be; rip currents are identified and students even learn how to swim with a rip current to better understand them and to know that they can be used to more quickly get to a victim.
Victims are in the surf, 100 yards from shore, waiting rescue and their mission is to locate the victim and understand the conditions.
To date we have no reports that the agents who have undergone ocean rescue training have had to use their skills, but since our last two Presidents and President Trump seem to like to spend time around the water, it’s probably a good idea to have trained agents on hand.