More than 1,200 tent ban warnings issued

File image of beach tents on an area beach.

The ban on beach tents in many Grand Strand areas has been in place for two prime beach-going months, and more than 1,200 beach tent warnings have been issued.

Horry County and other area municipaities banned beach tents earlier this year because of concerns over lifeguards having their sight-lines blocked, as well as other safety concerns.

Lt. Jamie DeBari with Horry County Police said 1,285 tent warnings were issued through the end of June.

DeBari said no citations, or tickets, have been issued.

"It's as simple as going over to the people and just explaining we have a new ordinance this year and that no tents are allowed," said Sgt. Bill Muldoon with Horry County Beach Patrol.

Other law enforcement officials in areas with tent bans say they have not issued any citations or warnings.

In North Myrtle Beach, law enforcement officials have just asked people to take down the tents and so far people have complied, according to North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling.

David Knipes, with Myrtle Beach Police, said they also haven't issued any citations and don't keep track of the number of warnings issued.

Knipes said an officer may just go up and tell people about the ban and not call into dispatch.

Surfside Beach is one of the few local areas that tents are still allowed, and residents report that they are now seeing huge numbers of tents on those beaches.

One family from Dillion County said even though they are staying in Horry County, they made sure they could still use their tent.

"We're staying down the road at Ocean Lakes and we wanted to use our tents so we could stay out of the heat. So we walked down to Surfside so we could use them," said Jordan Rowell, a visitor from Latta.

Surfside police say the increase of tents is not a problem so far. And they don't plan to have a ban like the surrounding jurisdictions.

"If you look at an area where they have outlawed the tents versus our area that permits them, there is no significant difference," said Lt. Kenneth Hofmann, with Surfside Beach Police. "In fact the area with more umbrellas you may find is more congested as far as visual obstruction to the water."

Myrtle Beach's tent ban went into effect on Memorial Day and last through Labor Day. Umbrellas are allowed in Myrtle Beach, but they must have a shade circle of less than 7.5 feet in diameter.

North Myrtle Beach began enforcing its ban on beach tents on May 15. That ban lasts through September 15 and allows for umbrellas with a pole height of less than 7.6 feet and a circular shade no more than 9 feet in diameter.

Atlantic Beach also recently put a ban in place that lasts from May 15 - September 15. Their regulations are the same as North Myrtle Beach's.

Horry County has a year-round ban on beach tents That ban went info effect as soon as the ordinance was passed on April 15 and covers the unincorporated ares of Horry County and allows umbrellas with a circular shade less than 7.6 feet in diameter.