Fire Chief: Time for Tybee City Council to look at South Beach s - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fire Chief: Time for Tybee City Council to look at South Beach safety issues


The Tybee Island Fire Chief said it may be time for City Council to take a look at South Beach and talk about what more can be done to keep that area safe.

The chief said that area is very dangerous and often times deadly. Earlier this week, a 43-year-old man drowned in that area.

"It's a public beach, but you get to the point where you have a lot of incidents that are occurring at the South Beach," said Tybee Island Fire Chief Skip Sasser." You know, maybe it's something that the city council of something that they need to start looking at. Something like beyond this point, a steep penalty or something where you just can't go out there."

Chief Sasser knows Tybee, and he knows where not to go. The problem is, most people don't. A man drowned Wednesday on South Beach, and that is not the first time.

The question now is, should, and can, the city council get involved?

"We do have a lot of control over the beach out here, and can definitely do something like that," said Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman. "And in all likelihood, we will take a look at that if that is something he recommends."

The mayor said a lot has already been done, including placing more guards on the south end and placing signs.

"Of course, whenever a tragedy like this happens, we are going to take a look and see if we can make any improvements," Buelterman said.

One easy improvement could be simple.

"Taking a picture from above at low tide, and then taking a picture at high tide," said Buelterman. "Then we would put that on our beach signs so people can see what really happens out here."

Chief Sasser echoed that idea because he said there are thousands of tourists that just don't know the area, and a visual like that could make a world of difference.

Both Mayor Buelterman and Chief Sasser stopped short of saying they would consider shutting down that portion of the beach, and that is good news to almost everyone.

"They can definitely do something, but shutting it down, eh, I think more signs would be better," said Steve Norris of Savannah.

Tybee already has rules that restrict access to the dunes and how close you can get to the pier if you're in the water. In some cases you could face fines if you violate those orders.

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