Safety Tips and Laws
Through the Swim Safe program, local communities offer 10 safety tips for ocean swimmers:
- Rip Tide Public Service Announcement (video by Beach TV)
- Drowning Bulletin: Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning (PDF)
- Swim in areas with a lifeguard
- Swim with a buddy
- Swim sober
- Don't fight the current (signal for help!)
- Don't float where you can't swim
- Watch small children closely
- Don't dive into the surf (protect your neck!)
- Leash your boogie board or surfboard
- Ask a lifeguard about ocean water conditions
- Look for, read, and obey all beach safety flags (yellow, lifeguard on duty; blue, aquatic danger; red, no swimming allowed)
Sand & Surf Beach Safety
Your Guide to Beach Safety in the Myrtle Beach Area
Assuring Clean, Safe Water
The health and safety of residents and visitors are of the highest importance to the municipalities in the Myrtle Beach area. To ensure that area beach water is clean and safe, a voluntary beach water monitoring program is underway in cooperation with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. During the summer months, the surf is regularly tested. If unacceptable levels of bacteria are detected, the area affected is posted with an advisory.
The possibility of pollutants in ocean water is greatest after a heavy rain, when runoff from lawns and streets can pick up fertilizer, pesticides, and trash. Swimming immediately after a rainstorm and playing in shallow tidal pools or in the water discharging from storm drainage pipes should be avoided.
Swimming in contaminated water may result in minor illnesses such as sore throats or diarrhea. Natural organisms can affect anyone with certain existing health problems.
More Sand Means More Room for Sun and Fun
Myrtle Beach area beaches are wider than ever, the result of a two-year renourishment project completed in 1998. It pumped almost five million cubic yards of new sand onto the shores. This $60 million enhancement plan was conducted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with federal, state and local funding in cooperation with Myrtle Beach area municipalities and a national dredging company.
In addition to creating expansive beaches, dunes were re-established to safeguard the renourished areas. Sand fencing and new plantings of sea oats and sea grasses are for increased protection of the beach. An added bonus is the collection of fabulous shells and fossils that were brought ashore with the new sand which was borrowed from the ocean floor.
So enjoy what Mother Nature has wrought and what technology labors mightily to care for!
Know and Obey Local Beach Ordinances
Beach ordinances vary according to beach municipality and are posted at public beach accesses. Obey these guidelines for your safety and enjoyment and for that of others around you.
Be aware of these regulations that apply to all locations:
- Sea Oats - It is illegal to cut, break, or otherwise destroy sea oat plants, beach grass, and sand fencing.
- Animals - Check each locality for animal restrictions as dogs and horses are not allowed on some beaches.
- Glass Containers - All glass containers are prohibited.
- Fireworks - It is illegal for any person to use, fire, shoot, discharge, sell or offer for sale, store, exchange, give away or possess any fireworks within the city. This prohibition includes the beach. Fireworks displays by pyrotechnic professionals may be approved if properly permitted and supervised.
- Swimming - Swimming is not permitted beyond 50 yards from the beach or in water over shoulder height.
- Piers - Jumping or diving from piers is prohibited.
More Beach Tips
- Put trash in receptacles.
- Avoid playing in shallow tidal pools and storm water drainage.
- Be careful of dead jellyfish that may have washed ashore; they can still sting.