Beach Patrol Summary from 2019 Season

As we begin the 2020 beach season, it’s a good time to review the 2019 Town of Seabrook Island Beach Patrol Final Report.

Last year’s Beach Patrol began work on March 9, with 2019 weekend-only patrols using a single vehicle until March 31, 2019, then daily patrols with two teams running overlapping shifts through Labor Day weekend, and ending with weekend coverage until October 5, 2019.

The Patrol’s work on 173 days of “the season” was both varied and helpful to beachgoers. As you read the statistics below, keep in mind that a violation or a service might apply to just one person or might have involved small groups of beachgoers.

In the category of “observed violations:”

  • The team issued 328 warnings and only 3 citations, and included two calls to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department for assistance.
  • Of 103 leash law observed violations, 65% were committed by visitors and 35% by residents. 89% of these observed violations occurred on the beach, and 11% were in the designated Critical Habitat area of North Beach.
  • 116 observed violations related to “glass on the beach,” a constraint that is in place because the tiny shards from broken glass might not be visible but pose a significant hazard for people walking barefoot and for birds and ocean creatures.
  • 9 observed violations were issued for people trespassing on the dunes; two for vehicles on the beach; and nine for beached motorized vessels.

A large part of the Beach Patrol’s work focuses on beachgoers’ safety. All team members are certified as Emergency Medical Responders who are also certified by the US Lifesaving Association. The team’s “services” work included the following:

  • 4 “swimmer rescue” events plus 14 events assisting swimmers in trouble
  • 28 first aid assists for jellyfish stings plus 11 more general first aid assists
  • 2 “boat assists”
  • 1 fishing order
  • 9 “other” events, which included finding a lost child and a missing person; burying a dead bird and a dead loggerhead turtle; removing a diamondback snake from the beach; assisting an injured pelican; and even retrieving a swimmer’s escaped surfboard

Beach Patrol teams also compiled some information about the number of people on the beach each day. Perhaps not surprising, our busiest times of day are noon to 3 pm. We consistently have the most people on the beach in July, followed by June and then August. The highest number of beachgoers was reported for 2:00 – 3:00 pm in July, with 806 people; next were June’s 3:00 – 4:00 pm with 772 people, July’s 1:00 – 2:00 pm with 753, and May’s 11:00 am – noon with a count of 679.

  • Click here to read the Town of Seabrook Island, Beach Patrol 2019 Final Report.
  • Click here for information on the Town of Seabrook Island, Beach Patrol.
  • Click here to review the Town of Seabrook Island, Beach Rules.

Tidelines Editors