Beach Rules for 2015 in Myrtle Beach

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Summertime means more vacationers swimming, splashing and sunning on the beach. In the city limits of Myrtle Beach, the increased traffic also means the addition of new beach rules that are only in affect between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Here are a few recently added summer beach rules and regulations, along with some long-standing laws you need to know:

Beach tents: The ban on “shading device” has been a controversial one in Myrtle Beach. The popularity of the large canopies were causing some headaches for lifeguards and emergency responders who were unable to see and access certain parts of the beach because of the rows of massive tents. The city finally took action last year, banning larger tents but allowing smaller, umbrella-style shading devices. Before you bust out the old canopy or go out and purchase a new one for your trip, check out the wording of this new law and buy accordingly:

“Shading devices shall not exceed the maximum size of twelve (12) feet by twelve (12) feet or 144 square feet and the maximum height of any shading device shall not exceed nine (9) feet installed. Shading devices, other than circular umbrellas with a diameter of 7.5’ or less, shall not be placed within 10’ of any other shading device. … Shading devices, other than circular umbrellas with a diameter of seven and one-half feet or less, shall not be allowed on the beach between Memorial Day through Labor Day. … Umbrellas and Shading Devices must be placed above the high-tide line. … It shall be unlawful for any person to place any shading device or umbrella so as to impede lifeguard line of sight, access or egress from the lifeguard stand.”

Fishing: Surf fishing has traditionally been allowed in Myrtle Beach but the influx of beach-goers in the summer months can make this a danger mix. Surf fishing has been restricted in recent years to avoid anglers from attracting sharks to crowded beaches. A recent change in state law requires a valid South Carolina license to surf fish:

“Any person(s) who surf fishes or fishing of any type from a pier or beach, at any time of the year, shall not fish in a manner that presents an unsafe condition to any beach goers, sun bathers, swimmers, or any other person and shall keep a safe distance from them. … Any person who surf fishes must obtain a valid South Carolina issued Surf Fishing License in accordance with South Carolina State Law.”

Dogs: The law refers to them as “animals” but these laws are designed with dogs in mind:

“(Dogs) must be on a hand-held leash not to exceed seven (7) feet in length and under the direct control of the person having custody of the animal. Persons in control of the animal are responsible for the clean-up of any animal refuse. Animals are not allowed on the beach between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., from May 1 up to and including Labor Day.”

Alcohol: This may be the most commonly violated law in Myrtle Beach because lifeguards and beach patrol officers are likely to look the other way if you do so responsibly. Many beach-goers pour alcoholic beverages into plastic cups and avoid trouble by behaving appropriately:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or consume any alcoholic liquors, beer, ale, porter, wine or any other similar malt or fermented beverage on any public beach.”

Fireworks: This may be the second most commonly violated law. Although fireworks are banned in the city limits, hardly a night goes by when someone isn’t putting on their own pyrotechnics display:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to use, fire, shoot, discharge, or ignite any fireworks within the city limits of Myrtle Beach on any public beach, public beach.”


(Posted: 5/21/15)