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Consumer Protection Agency Protects Tourists On Elevated Bacteria Beach Concerns

Dangers of bacteria in untreated,  unfiltered storm water.

 

DHEC has placed 14 permanent signs “Swimming Not Advised” (caution signs)  along a 9.9 mile stretch of beach inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach warning tourists not to swim in those areas.  This averages out to one sign for every seven tenths of one mile city-wide warning beach goers against swimming within 200 feet in each direction of each sign up and down the beach.

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The FTC  considers any business, hotel group, city, or business organization [Example: Chamber of Commerce] communicating in any way to mislead or confuse consumers about a purchase that poses any public safety risks associated with the purchase of that good or service a serious offense.

 

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Anyone who has ever purchased  medicine is fully aware of the “side effects” warnings label on the side of the bottle.  Such labeling is required to be in place by State and Federal authorities affiliated with the Federal Trade Commission.  Consumers know these warnings by their commonly held name,  DISCLAIMERS. The following beach disclaimer comes from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website concerning 14 areas running along the entire 9.9 mile coast of  beach areas inside the city of Myrtle Beach,

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DHEC WEBSITE
Long-Term Swimming Advisory
Long-term swimming advisory signs are posted at this location. Swimming is not advised within 200 feet on either side of the sign because high bacteria levels may be present, especially following rain due to storm water runoff. Wading, fishing, and shell collecting do not present a risk. Health problems typically come from swallowing the water.

The most common recreational water illnesses from swimming in ocean areas with high bacteria readings are gastrointestinal and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or fever. These illnesses result from swallowing water contaminated by disease-causing organisms. Contact with contaminated water can also cause upper respiratory (ear, nose and throat), and wound infections. Young children, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system are particularly vulnerable to recreational water illnesses.

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111The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is required by law to put such similar disclaimers on South Carolina beaches that can or do have consistently higher levels of harmful bacteria in the waters.  Myrtle Beach has been and is currently rated as one of the top beach destinations in America with ongoing elevated bacteria levels according to Business Week Magazine and government rating agencies.

As such, DHEC has placed 14 permanent signs (“Swimming is not advised” caution signs)  on a 9.9 mile stretch of beach inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach to warn tourists not to swim in those areas.  This averages out to one sign every SEVEN TENTHS of ONE mile advising against swimming within 200 feet of each direction of each sign up and down the beach.  To view DHEC’S CURRENT LONG TERM ADVISORY RATINGS for those City of Myrtle Beach Areas (CLICK HERE).

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Myrtle Beach Chamber

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, however,  (and now the city of Myrtle Beach) have each taken steps to “globally” discredit or work around those disclaimers with local residents and visiting tourists.

Just this week,  the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce was recorded telling tourists that the State and Federally mandated DHEC reports on our SC State Government website were untrue.

 

The City Information Director for Myrtle Beach then took to emailing local residents in the city of Myrtle Beach on his own city authorized email accounts the following:    Compare the email just below to the facts.

Global Confusing Misinformation from Mark Kruea, City Spokesperson
Global Confusing Misinformation from Mark Kruea, City Spokesperson

EMAIL FROM MARK KRUEA, City of Myrtle Beach:  What you’re seeing on social media about our water quality is inaccurate and just plain wrong.  We can’t explain the attack, but it is not based in fact.  We are NOT under a “no swimming” advisory.  DHEC’s staff have tried to correct the misinformation being posted, to no avail.  The site keeps changing the story, apparently in an effort to keep something “new” out there bashing the city and the state.  Again, the information is wrong, incorrect, misleading, false and otherwise unfounded.  Be happy to talk with you by phone if you have questions.

Thanks,
Mark

843-918-1014 or 843-450-1695 (cell) 

Last week,  Spokesperson Kruea posted the following on the City’s Mobile Website Homepage, though the post appears to contradict his statements made during an recent interview with local news where he also spoke in his official role.  The city notice below is still on the site.  See Kruea’s  interview covered previously.

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NOTICE ON CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH MOBILE WEBSITE

If your family has recently planned or has recently taken a vacation in the Myrtle Beach area,  the Federal Trade Commission  wants to make you aware of your rights.  The FTC protects your family of its rights to know.

The FTC was created to make citizens aware of their rights as consumers.  Please note below,  this matter has now been referred to the FTC.

The Federal Trade Commission considers any business, hotel group, city, or business organization [Example: Chamber of Commerce] communicating in any way to mislead or confuse consumers about a purchase that poses any public safety hazards associated with the purchase of that good or service a serious offense.

Information about the Federal Trade Commission  can be found below.

Contact FTC

 

To FILE A COMPLAINT

 

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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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