Nineteen-year-old Eric Silva and his friends came to the Myrtle Beach area Wednesday to celebrate his birthday.
The friends - from Newton, N.C., according to Silva - were on the beach at 24th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach less than 10 minutes when Silva, who was tanning in the sand, heard someone screaming for help, he said.
"I got up the same time the lifeguard came," Silva said.
While Silva was on the beach, he said three of his friends were in the water.
All three ran into some trouble in the water, possible riptide, said Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes. Police didn't identify the missing man.