First responders still reminding people not to swim to Tybee sandbar

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 3:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Summer break may be winding down for many in the WTOC viewing area, but schools start later in other parts of the country and lots of tourists are still coming to Tybee Island.

Tybee Fire Rescue want tourists to understand why it isn’t safe for them to try to swim or float to the sandbar, to Little Tybee, or to Pelican Island.

Assistant Chief Jordan Johnson, with Tybee Fire Rescue, said they’ve had three groups of people in the past five days attempting to make it through the back river channels - some swimming, or some even attempting to float there on inflatables. They say there’s several different reasons it’s dangerous to try this.

If you go out there during low tide but try to leave during high tide, there’s a major drowning hazard.

A lot of boats also travel through the area and could possibly hit swimmers.

Johnson says a lot of out-of-towners think it’s just like swimming at the lake, but it’s really not the same at all.

“The back river is still part of the ocean. And there’s a lot of false confidence, that, ‘Hey, I can swim across the ocean,’ but the tide swings, shifts. But the biggest thing is the boating traffic. You’ve got people ripping through here almost wide open while you’re trying to doggy paddle to the other side,” Johnson said.

Johnson adds that if you’re trying to make it to Little Tybee, you can absolutely do that- just with the proper equipment, like a kayak or a boat.

Anyone attempting to make it to the sandbar, however, may be handed a $300 fine.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.