Myrtle Beach shoreline at sunset with birds

Before you hit the sand and surf in Myrtle Beach this summer, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of the beach, which keep everyone safe and maintain Myrtle Beach’s unique environment.

General Rules

Beachgoers visiting Myrtle Beach should follow these general rules:

  • Show respect for others. Various beach rules aim to maintain a safe, enjoyable environment for all beachgoers. Rules prohibit commercial activity on the public beach, limit the size of beach umbrellas, and require dog owners to keep their pets on a leash of seven feet or shorter. Beachgoers may not set up items on the beach before 8 a.m. and must remove items by 7 p.m.
  • Keep the beach clean. Myrtle Beach prohibits littering on the beach. Beachgoers must use trash and recycling containers. People may not bring glass containers or bottles onto the beach. Pet owners must also dispose of animal droppings.
  • Refrain from alcohol and substance use. Beachgoers may not bring alcoholic beverages onto the beach.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts. Beachgoers may consume tobacco products on the beach but must properly dispose of cigarette or cigar butts.

Safety Guidelines

Beachgoers should adhere to the following safety guidelines on the beach and in the water:

  • Swimming and water activities – Myrtle Beach uses beach flags on lifeguard stands to advise beachgoers of water conditions. A double red flag means people may not enter the water. A single red flag indicates hazardous water conditions like strong waves or rip currents. Yellow flags mean moderate hazards, while a green flag means good conditions. A blue flag means the water has dangerous marine life, like sharks or a large number of jellyfish.
  • Sun protection – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that beachgoers apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF rating of 15 or higher. Beachgoers should reapply sunscreen after two hours or after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
  • Beach equipment and gear – Myrtle Beach restricts kayaks and surfboards to certain beach areas between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day. All flotation devices must have a fabric covering and a 360-degree rope of three-eighths-inch thick minimum diameter with 10 percent slack. Lifeguards will not permit any devices not meeting these standards into the water.

Activities and Recreation

Rules and regulations for activities and recreation on the beach in Myrtle Beach include:

  • Beachgoers may use metal detectors on the public beach but not on the dunes, street ends, or other public property.
  • Myrtle Beach prohibits fireworks on the beach and other public property.
  • Beachgoers may not light any fires on the beach, including barbecues or bonfires.
  • Beachgoers may not use metal shovels on the beach and must refill any holes deeper than two feet.
  • Surf fishing requires a state fishing license, although people do not need a license to fish off a public pier. People surf fishing must keep at least 50 feet from swimmers and may not fish in front of the chair and umbrella lines. Swimmers have priority over surf fishing.

Environmental Considerations

In addition to refraining from littering or lighting fires, Myrtle Beach’s environmental rules include lights-out requirements between May 1 and October 31 to protect sea turtles. These rules include turning off beachfront lights after dark, refraining from using flashlights and lanterns on the beach after dark, filling in holes, and removing beach equipment at the end of the day.

Enforcement and Penalties

Violations of Myrtle Beach laws and regulations governing the use of the beach constitute misdemeanor offenses. Anyone convicted of violating beach rules may receive a penalty that includes a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC

If you’ve been hurt in an accident on the beach in Myrtle Beach, SC, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Jebaily Law Firm today for a free no-obligation consultation with a personal injury attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC, about your legal options.

Jebaily Law Firm

Jebaily Law Firm, is one of South Carolina’s long-established and well-respected legal practices. With offices in Florence, North Myrtle Beach, and Myrtle Beach, S.C., we are trial lawyers focused on plaintiff litigation in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and social security disability. Established in 1969, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience in protecting the rights of clients and advocating for the safety and well-being of South Carolina citizens.