Save Our Surf Spot
This petition made change with 807 supporters!
Save Our Surf Spot of over 30 years at South Beach, Hunting Island
SC Parks Recreation and Tourism
To All Concerned:
On behalf of all Hunting Island surfers, we want to thank you for your efforts in keeping the park in pristine condition and making it a destination that is safe for all to enjoy. Hunting Island, as you know, is a very special place to our community, to tourism, and as a habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. So thank you for your stewardship of this national treasure.
We were recently made aware that parts of the beach is closed to surfing while lifeguards were on duty 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Summer. One of those areas, referred to as South Beach, is where 95% of the surfers go to catch waves, as it provides the best break with minimal obstructions. Some surfers have been surfing there for over 30 years. Obviously, our small community of surfers is more than disappointed about this decision. This letter is written in hopes that you will reconsider. We recognize your right to make limit activities in specified zone under the authority given to you through SC Title 51. We also want to point out, that an area we were instructed to surf at instead, has many tree stumps and even a submerged concrete structure. All of which is very dangerous to surf over and could cause severe injury.
We also know that your intention is to keep Hunting Island as safe as possible for as many visitors as possible, and we realize that there is some potential for injury when surfers and swimmers occupy the same area, though none of us can think of a time where a swimmer was struck by a board at Hunting Island. On the other hand, many of us have been a part of rescues in which a swimmer was saved from drowning, or pulled away from a very dangerous situation.
Many lives have been saved by surfers, because 1)Most are good swimmers, 2)They are close to potential drowning victims, 3)They have floatation devises at the ready, 4)And most know how to identify a rip current & other potential threats. On the other hand, there has never been a documented severe injury, let alone, death due to a board strike at Hunting Island. Therefore, it is our contention that the waters are not much more dangerous with surfers, and possibly safer with us in it, than banned from it.
It's not uncommon that with almost any swell that rolls in waves for our beach, stories circulate within our surf community of swimmers in danger, where someone needed help and a fellow surfer provided that help. In Australia, it is documented that for the past 100 years surfers have saved 615,000 lives. Use your google, look up stories of surfers saving swimmers. Here is a link on the subject you may also view:
As a compromise, other cities near and far to us, have resolved to allow both surfers and swimmers to enjoy the same beach by implementing a "leash law". This would mean that the surfers can surf where they'd like, as long as the surfboard is tethered to the their body via a leash.
We ask to have just as much freedom as a swimmer to enjoy our surf spot of over 30 years. Please don't take our spot away from us.
Thank you for taking the time to listen. We appreciate your consideration, and look forward to hearing from you soon.
*Surfer pictured is Glenn Godley, photo taken by Everett Gauthier
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