Tybee Beach Rules
While Vacationing on Tybee Island please follow our Tybee beach rules, marine debris guide, warning flag system and riptide charts.
- STAY OUT OF THE DUNES – The sand dunes lining Tybee’s coastlines are protected by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources under the Shore Protection Act. It is prohibited to walk on the dunes, and is punishable with fines up to $1,000 dollars.
- SURFING AND FISHING ONLY ALLOWED IN DESIGNATED AREAS – no person shall operate a surfboard or fish except in areas designated for such purposes. It shall be unlawful for anyone to fish for sharks of any species on or from any of the public beaches, docks or piers of the city. Violations shall be punishable by fines not to exceed $300 and/or imprisonment not to exceed six months and/or to perform community service for a period not exceeding 60 days, any or all such penalties in the discretion of the municipal judge.
- SWIM WITHIN 50 YARDS OF SHORELINE – It shall be unlawful for any person to swim outside of the area extending 50 yards from the water’s edge.
- OBEY THE LIFEGUARDS – It shall be unlawful for any person to deliberately disobey any reasonable command of a duly appointed and identified lifeguard while in the legitimate performance of his duty, such commands being intended to ensure the safety of persons using the beach and any structures erected thereon.
- STAY OFF ROCKS / JETTIES / LIFEGUARD STANDS – It shall be unlawful to walk or climb upon the rocks, jetties, or other manmade structures which are marked with appropriate signage.
- LITTER MUST BE CONTAINED – CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE LITTER – It shall be unlawful to throw, place, deposit, sweep or scatter, or cause to be thrown, placed, deposited, swept, or scattered, any paper, food, cigarette butts, bottles, cans, trash, fruit peelings or other refuse upon the beaches or structures erected thereon. Beach goers must contain their trash at all times.
- GLASS – It is unlawful for any person to take or carry upon the beaches or structures any glass or breakable containers.
- PETS – It is unlawful for any person who owns, is in control of, or is in charge of, any dog or other pet, to allow or take that dog or other pet upon the beaches or structures. This does not include properly certified guide dogs, or similar animals assisting the blind, deaf, or other physically handicapped persons. – Penalty for pet prohibition . The fine for the offense of violating pets on the beach, shall not be less than $200 for the first offense plus applicable court fees, and not less than $400 for subsequent offenses, plus applicable court fees for any subsequent offense occurring within a 12-month period of a preceding offense.
- DISORDERLY CONDUCT – endangerment of self or others. It shall be unlawful for any person to come upon the beaches, and individually or in concert with others, do any act or create any condition which does or is calculated to encourage, aid, abet, or start a riot, public disorder or disturbance of the peace. Any person who refuses when commanded by a police officer or other enforcement official of the city to leave the beach or structures immediately, shall be guilty of an offense for refusal to obey the order or command of a police officer or other enforcement official of the city. It shall also be unlawful for any person to come upon the beaches or structures and act in any way which is likely to cause endangerment to himself or others.
- FIRES – You can not build or maintain any type of open fire on the beach, including any type of charcoal fire, whether or not in a grill or similar container.
- MOTORIZED VEHICLES & WATERCRAFTS- Motorized vehicle are not allowed onto the beaches. This includes automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, all-terrain-vehicles and similar motor driven vehicles and craft. This does not include properly marked emergency vehicles while in the course of an emergency operation, or maintenance/utility vehicles in the employ of the city or similar governmental entity and engaged in a legitimate operation. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motorized watercraft, such as a jet ski, motorboat, and similar craft, within 1,000 feet of the waterline on any part of the beach between the north and south rock jetties.
- OVERNIGHT SLEEPING / CAMPING – No person may camp or sleep on the streets, beaches, parks, parking lots or other public areas, whether in automobiles, trucks, campers, recreational vehicles or other vehicle, or in equipment designed and intended for the purpose of camping. Such activity may be permitted in public areas specifically set aside and designated for that purpose. Any person suspected of such activity may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined.
- KEGS – The presence of beer kegs on the beach is often associated with underage drinking, littering, public intoxication and disorderly conduct and because such activities are in direct conflict with family recreation, such containers and similar devices for dispensing of large quantities of alcoholic beverages are expressly prohibited.
- NUDITY – no nudity.
- REMOVAL OF LIVE MARINE LIFE – On Tybee Island, the removal of live animals is prohibited. Beachcombing is a beloved hobby for all ages that introduces us to the treasures of the sea. While curiosity moves us to explore wildlife, we must also be mindful of the live animals that share our beach.
Under city ordinance Sec. 12-1 (a)(17), it is unlawful to remove live sand dollars, sea stars, snails, and hermit crabs. Regulated animals specified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are permitted for removal with a valid fishing license.
- JUMPING OR DIVING FROM PIER OR PUBLIC STRUCTURE – It shall be unlawful for any person to jump or dive from any pier or public structure except those that might be specifically built for that purpose and as may be specifically authorized in connection with a properly authorized special event.
Tybee Beach Rules Strictly Enforced. Max fine $1,000
Beware of Sand Bar
Walking out on the sand bars is extremely dangerous! The sand bars on the south end of Tybee leading to Little Tybee look deceptively easy to walk on and explore. However, the rip tides are extremely fast and strong, they can take out a strong, adult swimmer within minutes. Tybee Island averages one drowning/year.
PLEASE, for your safety and the safety of the lifeguards who protect you, please follow our Tybee Beach Rules and DO NOT venture out onto the sand bars.
Rip Current Guide & Warning Flag Chart
Tybee Island beaches are subject to extreme rip currents. The longshore current runs parallel along the eastern seaboard, formed by wind and wave energy crashing and distributing energy along the shoreline. Rip currents are common on the north and south ends of the island, where rushing currents enter and exit the Savannah and Wilmington Rivers. These tidal currents violently collide with the longshore current, generating turbulent water movement. Small rip currents can also occur on the face of the beach during low tide. Strong sweeping currents flow between breaks in shallow sand bars creating dangerous swimming conditions. – Info via Tybee Marine Science Center
Hazardous Areas & Boating Safety
Certain areas have been designated and marked as “hazardous areas” because of conditions which create a threat to the safety and welfare of boaters who may operate in such areas. When operating within a “hazardous area”, all passengers in a boat must wear a U. S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device, properly fitted and fastened.
- Tybee Island Beach, for a distance of 1,000 feet seaward from the highwater mark on Tybee Island beach from the north end to the south end of the beach
Keep Tybee Tidy – Marine Debris Chart
When trash reaches the ocean, it is very harmful to the creatures there, due to entanglement and ingestion. They get entangled in plastic 6-pack rings, discarded fishing line, packing straps, and abandoned nets. These objects constrict the animal’s growth, restrict their movement so they become easy prey, and cause sea reptiles and mammals to drown. Sea turtles love to eat jellyfish, so when they mistakenly eat a plastic bag or a balloon, it causes problems with their digestive systems that often leads to death. Since plastic eventually breaks down into tiny pieces, even small marine organisms are ingesting plastic. We humans enjoy eating fish, shrimp, and other ocean delicacies, but we don’t want a side of plastic included in our meal!