Tourists and residents alike began messaging and emailing our news team today concerning the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. They informed us that the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber staff was telling them that there were no areas in Myrtle Beach where bacteria levels were elevated. As the (Chamber of Commerce) VISITMYRTLEBEACH.com organization receives nearly $30 million in annual tax funds from tourists, we found it hard to believe that this organization would lead tourists to believe things that conflicted directly with the South Carolina state reporting agency established to test Myrtle Beach water quality, which is the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Our news team decided to put a call into the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce lists itself as a travel agent on FACEBOOK at FACEBOOK.com/VISITMYRTLEBEACHSC. The MBACC Chamber Facebook page can be found at the link above.
Our news team called the organization ourselves at 4 p.m. on March 8th and recorded the following conversation found at the link below.
We would ask that our readers please note: The Chamber of Commerce information provided in the audio call below is completely incongruent with the information on the SCDHEC site. Readers can hear a Chamber of Commerce employee stating emphatically that the DHEC report is untrue. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce employee we spoke with was Colby. The audio link to our conversation can be found here. Please be patient, it will take about 20 seconds to load in ONEDRIVE:
As you can hear, Colby states the entire Myrtle Beach area was tested two days ago and everything is fine. When we spoke with Director Beasley, just yesterday, he said the last testing was done in October, no new testing would be done until May, and that beach areas inside the city were still under a LONG TERM ADVISORY. We placed a call into Jim at DHEC today, he said that DHEC was not scheduled to do testing until May. He said that perhaps Coastal Carolina University had conducted some type of testing. We placed several calls into the marine science department at Coastal Carolina. They never returned our calls. The LONG TERM ADVISORY by DHEC for beaches inside the city limits of Myrtle Beach still stands.
MYRTLE BEACH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MISLEADS TOURISTS WITH MESSAGING ON FACEBOOK
TOURISTS AND LOCALS PLEASE NOTE: The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is NOT AN AUTHORITY on water quality issues.
If you should have questions about the current LONG TERM NO SWIM ADVISORY for Myrtle Beach beaches, please contact the “official state monitoring organization”. We ask that you do not call the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce or any Myrtle Beach Hotel. We have caught each of these different groups telling tourists things that simply are inconsistent with the DHEC Advisory.
We have now reported these confusing remarks to the City of Myrtle Beach City Council, the Governor of S.C., and the offices of DHEC.
DHEC can be reached at: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (803) 898-DHEC (3432)
Mail: 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Here is a statement from a local NBC News Station WMBFnews article on July 7th, 2014: “Because the water quality levels in these areas [where signs are posted] regularly tests higher for bacteria and worse water quality, DHEC is relying on the permanent signs to warm swimmers, day in and day out.”
Local News Station WPDE TV ABC 15 did the Withers Swash story that Visit Myrtle Beach mentions above.
Below, you will find the comment thread, where WPDE states there was no connection between the pipe break and the current DHEC ratings. WPDE’s comments also state that the city has been aware of a long term advisory for years. (See thread below)
AND FINALLY: LOCAL WFXB CONFIRMS OUR STORY HERE:
WFXB Reports on LONG TERM NO SWIM ADVISORY
EDITOR’S NOTE: We would like to thank the public for reporting back to us. If you receive any more misleading information regarding the DHEC’s reporting or have received communications discrediting our news team for covering this public health issue, you can message us at our MYRTLEBEACHSC.COM NEWS FACEBOOK PAGE. We will keep our readers updated.