City of Tybee Island will begin ticketing people on dangerous sandbar

Signs at Tybee Island warn people about the danger of the sandbar.
Signs at Tybee Island warn people about the danger of the sandbar.(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 8:05 AM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - The mayor of Tybee Island announced on social media that the city will begin writing tickets to people that venture out on the sandbar on the south end of the island.

Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen said they've been doing their best to keep people off the sandbars, but it's been getting worse as people are ignoring the danger signs.

The sandbar stretches from 18th Street to Chatham Avenue. Gillen said when the tides change from low tide to high tide, or vice versa, there's a 7 1/2 foot mean tide. He says this is a lot of water that's moving extremely fast and that's why it's so dangerous.

There are signs advising people of the danger, but Gillen says it doesn't seem to stop people.

Now that the city has the resources, Gillen said they can have code enforcement, the lifeguards and beach patrol keeping an eye on the sandbar. To show they're serious, they will start writing tickets this weekend and the tickets cost much more than any of the other beach-related fines.

“This one is a criminal offense, so it’s going to be up to $1,000. If you would get a ticket you’d have to come to court and the judge would set your fine. Or you can pay online, without going to court, and that’s like $1,400,” Gillen said.

Gillen said the ticketing will keep going beyond just this weekend.

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