The family claims that a man was drowned because a Myrtle Beach lifeguard was selling chairs for profit.

Zerihun Wolde was an avid swimmer like two kids, so Myrtle Beach was a natural choice when a family of four in Silver Spring, Maryland had a rare family vacation opportunity.

However, a 41-year-old child was unable to free and drowned when a rip current pulled him into the Atlantic Ocean around 11:00 am on August 24, 2018.

In a tort civil lawsuit filed in November 2019, Wald’s fiancé Mesawet Abel’s lawyer said Luck’s Beach Services lifeguards saved the United States because of its “double role” business model. He said he had lost the association’s certification. According to a search of that directory, the company remains uncertified by the organization.

On Monday, the jury trial selection and opening statement began at Conway’s 15th Circuit Court of Justice. The 12-member committee is determined by whether Wald’s property should be compensated for his death and the amount.

Lux Beach Service, which provides visitors with lifeguard services and rental equipment under an exclusive franchise agreement with the city, has been accused of not properly training their staff. Lawyers also claim that it was too distracting to see water as a “double role” employee who received commissions based on sales.

“Usually, according to the rules, swimmers do not get into trouble or die like Mr. Wald. Lifeguards are required by the rules to maintain constant water surveillance. If there is a life-safety hazard, it is obligatory, to warn of that particular danger on that particular day, “said Abel’s lawyer, Malins MacLeod.

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The city was initially nominated as a co-defendant, but was eventually withdrawn from the proceedings last month.

Lux Beach Service, Signed a contract He had a franchise agreement with the city until 2025, just four months before Wald’s death.

“The sole responsibility of lifeguards is to observe water, which is indisputable in the aquatic safety community,” said MacLeod. “They (Luck’s Beach Services) are in a position to fail these children, even if they are properly trained to give them conflicting roles and responsibilities.”

Luck’s Beach Services lawyer Joseph Thompson said Wald and his family entered the beach from a private access point without prior research or staffing.

Use this interactive map to find all public beach access points on Myrtle Beach

“From a witness’s point of view, I’m not going to say anything about what happened or what I saw underwater,” he said.

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Under a contract with the city, Luck’s Beach Service needs to develop a lifeguard training curriculum, and each staff member needs to swim 500 meters in 12 minutes as part of their certification.

More than 20 witnesses are expected to be called in, including Abel, her children, and public security officials in Holly County and Myrtle Beach.

According to a 10-year report from affiliates, the American Lifesaving Association website states that one in 18 million beach swimmers patroled by certified lifeguards can be drowned.

According to Thompson, Lux Beach Services only follows what was outlined in the agreement with Myrtle Beach at the time of Wald’s death.

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“If you can’t change the outcome, you’re not responsible,” Thompson said.