Update: Fire chief in ICU after suffering serious injuries in jet ski crash with tree

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North Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Garry Spain suffered some serious injuries from a jet ski crash and is in the ICU and will be for several days, according to a message from his wife that was distributed Sunday via the department’s Facebook page.

“He basically crushed all of his ribs in multiple places on his left side, collapsed left lung, damaged right lung . . . He is in severe pain and highly medicated, which is why I am asking that people not visit at this time. He struggles to talk and breathe,” the message from his wife, Jennifer, read.

Spain was jet skiing in the Bucksport area of the Waccamaw River when he crashed into a tree, the department reported via Facebook. He was “awake and alert” and in “good spirits” Sunday morning, the department reports. Spain expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he’s received, the department said.

“He also mentioned it will take more than one tree to keep him down for long and he will be back in action soon!” the Facebook post said.

Horry County Fire Rescue and Conway Fire Rescue responded to the incident Saturday.

“We appreciate the initial outpouring and support already from our neighboring agencies and want to recognize Horry County Fire Rescue and Conway Fire Rescue for their work on the incident,” the department’s initial Facebook post said Saturday.

Spain is not ready for visitors at this time, the department reiterated Sunday.

“I will let everyone know when better and can receive visitors,” his wife said. “Thank you again for all of the thoughts and prayers. Please continue to pray for easy breathing and pain relief.”

The department ended the post by saying it will continue to provide updates when possible.

David Wetzel: @MYBSports, 843-626-0295